“How dare you sport thus with life?”
Through a close analysis of Frankenstein and Blade Runner explore the implications of the quote above
Both Mary Shelley’s Romantic Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s postmodern science fiction film Blade Runner (1992) explore the implications of egotistic humans overreaching the natural order: humans who “dare” to “sport” “with life”. Despite Frankenstein springing from a context of Romantic passion an Enlightenment rationalisation and Blade Runner from economic rationalism and increasing consumerism both texts explore the dehumanizing and environmentally degrading consequences of scientific or commercial hubris in recklessly creating “life”, thus overriding the natural order.
In both Frankenstein and Blade Runner there is an agonising revelation that ‘sporting thus with life’ can result in dehumanisation, whereby humans, Frankenstein and Tyrell, descent into monstrosity and their monstrous creations, the “abhorred wretch” and replicants, rise into moral superiority. “Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?” The recent shift from Frankenstein’s confessional narrative to the creature’s anguished first-person narration and the repetition of ‘all men’ elicits the creature’s torment at humanity’s prejudice, moving the reader’s sympathy from Victor to the creature. Victor’s appears blind to his moral responsibilities to his creation, condemning it to a life of suffering, devoid of understanding or compassion. Moreover, Shelley explores the nature of humanity, through intertextual references to the Enlightenment philosophies of Locke and Rousseau who asserted society’s corrupting influence over man. “Sorrow only increased with knowledge…” The creature manifests the theories of such philosophers: that man is corrupted through social interaction. His thoughts begin innocently, but as they “become more active”, a monstrosity reflective of humanity,...
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