Nature and Transgression in Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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How has the context affected the treatment of the concepts of nature and transgression in the texts under study?

In comparing the treatment of the myriad of enduring issues and concepts explored in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), the influence of their vastly different contexts is impossible to overlook. Despite their radically different context and genre informed approaches, Blade Runner and Frankenstein ultimately come to what is in essence the same conclusion - to act as cautionary tales against the consequences of transgression and to stress the importance of living in harmony with nature. The concepts of nature and transgression are central themes explored in detail by the composers of both texts. Many instances of nature are dealt with, from the role of the natural environment to the duality of human nature. Likewise, transgression does not merely occur in the most apparent crime of moral and ethical neglect in the act of creating humane beings – but the consequences of attempting to transgress the limits of mortality, technology and nature itself. From the opening of Frankenstein, Robert Walton’s sweepingly expressive choice of language in describing the majestic beauty of nature marks the novel as a product of its literary context of Romanticism. As a movement that advocated self-expression and empowerment of the imagination and senses, the ability to appreciate the sublime natural wonders of the world was seen as an extremely positive and humanizing quality. Both Frankenstein’s creature and Roy Batty display the humane Setting, by disposition, is a key consideration in any text, and in both Frankenstein and Blade Runner the condition of the natural world and elements is crucial in establishing the appropriate mood at any given time. The central theme of Blade Runner is the relationship between humanity and nature. More specifically it has a purpose in...
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