In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner are texts that explore the same underlying anxieties and values in humanity. Even though they are constructed nearly 200 years apart, the same feelings exist. At the time of composition, and, through their literary work, the authors examine their place in the world. With the proliferation of scientific technology, economic and sociological concerns, these texts reconsider and teach in their didactic styles about man’s preoccupation with advancement, without respecting nature.
Nature and its interaction with human emotions are central concerns for both “Frankenstein” and “Blade Runner”. Romantics’ nature is depicted as a healing power and a source of subject and image; in blade runner, the natural worlds pleasing qualities are seen to be abused, e.g. of this is in the opening, where a dark, decayed and dystopian Neo noir world is shown. The detrimental consequences due to carelessness when dealing with the natural world, resulted in the disappearance of its beauty which was an idea constantly feared and warned of by Shelley in Frankenstein. Mary Shelley was romanticist due to her nature and as she was constantly surrounded by romantics. Her father, William Godwin was a political activist and a radical who wrote “political justice (and its influence on morals and happiness)”. Political justice which addressed politics’ influence on general virtue and happiness and how an anarchist society might work was extremely influential at its time. Mary’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft was a feminist as she was an advocate of women’s rights. She wrote many books in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. Shelley also grew up surrounded by great romantic poets such as Coleridge, Keats, Wordsworth and Shelley. All these things collectively and her parents’ writings had massive influence on young Mary who grew up being fed all of these ideas. General society also influenced her as she grew up in a time where religion was a determining factor towards rules, morals and boundaries. Scientific advancement that stood to play the role of God was frowned upon. E.g. The practice of galvanism. Thus we can say, mary was influenced by her religion. Shelley didn’t condemn science itself but rather the abuse and misuse of it by irresponsible individuals who abandon their experiments or (creation), use it to their advantage and for the harm of society and have no regards to morals. The irresponsible individuals included Victor Frankenstein and Dr Eldon Tyrell. This idea is reinforced in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as she constantly depicts Victor as the selfish megalomaniac who fails to accept responsibility for his obsessive creation and abandons him. Shelley captures the sublime healing power of nature through positive connotations, “[I] passed many hours on the boat… in a scene so beautiful and heavenly…I passed whole days on the lake… watching the clouds, listening to the rippling of the waves, silent and listless” These connotations allow Shelley to manipulate the responders attitude towards nature to represent characters’ emotions and state of mind to reflect the morality or immorality of the characters’ actions. In contrast to these more positive views of nature, Pathetic fallacy is used each time Frankenstein encounters the creature, the weather is harsh. It is a stormy night when Frankenstein destroys the creature, “The wind was high...the waves continually threatened the safety of my little skiff”, he is on a frigid glacier when he sees the creature for the first time. Shelley uses this belief that nature is a part of our humanity and represents our state of mind to demonstrate the consequences that arise when characters go against nature (victor playing god). The 19th century...
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