In her romantically stylized Gothic novel, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley morally critiques scientific possibilities of the period through an effective use of language, characterization and setting. By contrast Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner, set in a near future where scientific development compromises both the nature of humanity, as well as nature itself, is a critique of the values of the post-modern era within which it was created. Both texts challenge the established values and issues of their time, problematizing humans quest to conquer nature through science and the existential question of what it means to be human.
Shelley wrote during a period of extensive social and political transformation in the early 19th century, which established societal values that were challenged by scientific, political and social developments. Scott, on the other hand, presents a film-noir, science-fiction film, composed in the 1980’s, during a corporate period of rampant capitalism, where commerce ruled supreme at the cost of human values.
Both texts warn against unchecked scientific endeavors, form and context influencing the manner with which the importance of the sublime is presented. Frankenstein’s depiction of nature uses abundant, sublime imagery to reveal the internal state of characters, and humanity’s interdependent relationship with the power of the natural world. Vividly beautiful imagery of the sublime in nature reveals Shelley’s fundamental romantic world view. She saw the society threatened by scientific progress as portrayed through Frankenstein in his creation of artificial life. “… thousands of others shall be swallowed up in the whirlwind of it’s (science’s) rage.” Here, the monster can be read as a representation of unchecked science, created into a supernatural force. Direct connection with nature, on the other hand, is viewed as exceptionally important, heavily rooted in the romantic beliefs of Shelley. The sublime is an overwhelming, unbeatable force, and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document