Mary Shelley’s nineteenth century epistolary novel, Frankenstein (1818), and Ridley Scott’s late twentieth century post-modern film, Blade Runner (1992), bear striking similarities when studied as texts in time, as they both aim to warn humanity about attempting to usurp of the role of God in creating life. However, their respective contexts mean that the way in which they present notions about humanity differs. Shelley and Scott have extrapolated their various concerns born from their respective contexts regarding the confusion and anxiety that results when mankind pursues their knowledge without regard for their responsibilities. Shelley presents us with humanity’s flaws, which are evident in the way they have neglected what they have created. Scott portrays a futuristic world that has become horrifically debased and inhumane, as mankind has failed to maintain the natural order after overstepping scientific and technological boundaries. Both composers conceptually focus on the parental duties of creators toward their creation and the consequences of abandoning them. Through their different styles and techniques relative to their respective audience, each composer is extremely successful in presenting the changing values and attitudes respective of their eras.
Shelley’s novel enlightens the reader to the changing values and perspectives of her era following the concept of Galvanism. Shelley’s didactic approach forms themes of obsession and “dangerous knowledge” that exist as Victor attempts to surge beyond accepted human limits and access the secret of life in an attempt to create it. Victor recognises the power he holds with his knowledge, and considers the dangers, saying, "when I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it". This displays Victor's conscience and his willingness to disregard it, leading to the destruction of his morals and ethics for the utilitarian...
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