Frankenstein and Blade Runner
Although written more than 150 years apart from each other, and with very different mediums of production both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scotts Blade Runner reflect upon the societal concerns of their times in order to warn us of the consequences of overstepping our boundaries and unbridled technological advancement. Subsequently, it becomes evident that despite their temporal and contextual differences, both texts are in fact linked through their common concerns and concepts. Frankenstein was written in 1818 at the height of the industrial revolution. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. The story is partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead animals and was also a warning against the expansion of modern humans in the Industrial Revolution. Blade Runner, on the other hand was written in 1982 at the beginning of the age of computers. The movie is set in Los Angeles in 2019 inside a post-modern, post-industrial and post-apocalyptic city. The world is devoid not only of nature, but children, sunlight and “real” animals. In the opening scene, film noir characteristics, such as disoriented visual schemes and heavy reliance of shadows and rain are used to show the vast yet dwarfed city. This leads us to believe that this city is a result of past consequences where nature has not just been subjugated, but destroyed. This mirrors a time where society was fearful that technology was taking over to the detriment of humanity through the invention of the computer. The theme of nature and its role on humanity is present throughout both Frankenstein and Blade Runner. Shelley presents nature as very powerful. Shelley shows nature’s ability to affect the monster powerfully and, as it does Victor, humanise him. It has the power to put the humanity back into man when the unnatural...
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