A text embodies and reflects key issues and concerns of the composer’s context, whether it be social, cultural or historical. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) are two prime examples of how similar concerns may differ in representation due to varying times and contexts. Both Shelley and Scott strongly explore the essence of humanity alongside science and development, cautioning the audience about the concerns of these explorations as a possible path of severance with the natural order and the seemingly inexistent future of mankind due to their concerns and issues present in their time.
Frankenstein and Blade Runner explore elements of the human nature in a way that attempts to identify the characteristics that would be considered uniquely human. These characteristics that should enable us to identify the differences between the metaphysical and the natural are blurred within the two texts, reflecting the composers’ fears of the loss of humanity. Shelley and Scott strongly advocate the notion that there are inherent dangers to the human psyche in an environment in which the advance of science and technology goes unchecked. Shelley clearly warns in her novel the lack of refrain which men display in their temptations in search of knowledge, curiosity and glory. This maybe reflected by her own personal context in which her husband Percy Shelley was often absent due to his work. In terms of Frankenstein, it is the monster that is portrayed as the one possessing the characteristics of being human instead of his creator, Victor Frankenstein. Victor denies his humanity in order to pursue his unscrupulous ambitions in creating life, destroying the distinction between man and “God”. “Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed?”
In Blade Runner, the replicants are described as “more human than human.” The intelligence (is it their intelligence or is it more than this?) that is embodied in the replicants...
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