Frankenstein and Blade Runner: Dangerous Implications of Scientific and Technological Development

Topics: Science, Experiment, Technology Pages: 2 (569 words) Published: March 13, 2012
question: "Both texts explore aspects of humanity. How does the context of each text affect the ideas represented and techniques used?"
Both Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, and Blade Runner, by Ridley Scott, are products of their time that crystallize the fears, uncertainties and desires of their age. Frankenstein is representative of the Romantic and enlightenment context, exploring humanity at a time when there was increased emphasis on the desire for knowledge and exploitation of science coupled with an anxiety for such ventures, Blade Runner, in contrast humans have been ignored in the pursuit of commerce. Hence, the creators motives to create have altered as a result of the changing contexts -- and in this change lies the representation of humanity.

Perhaps one of the overarching aspects of humanity explored across both texts is the pursuit or quest for knowledge, through harnessing scientific experimentation and technological advances - and the associated dangerous implications of such a venture. With regard to Frankenstein, such a quest is best demonstrated through the character of Victor Frankenstein, a hubristic figure, who in his quest for knowledge, conducts a science experiment through which he "seeks to create a being in his likeness, " yet instead, creates a "monster." In Frankenstein it is however the advancement in knowledge and the achievements of Victor Frankenstein that constitute his downfall as he, like Prometheus, overreached the jurisdiction, power and roles that humanity is designed to fulfill. Such a notion is reflective of the enlightenment period - a time when the role, presence and power of god - being at the centre of the universe - was denied, and instead replaced with human reason, science, logic, knowledge and intellect. Hence, it was a period of enormous faith in the potential of humanity to explore, create and invent. Shelly critiques this notion through the vehicle of Victor Frankenstein, as seen through his advisory to the...
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