ESSAY 2 – ‘the other’
Analyse the ways in which a comparative study of text reveals the place of the “other” in society over time. The ‘other’ consistently poses a threat to dominance and a fear of the unknown within society, a perception, while fundamental unfounded, which has not changed over time. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Riddley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ both present the problem of otherness, not it’s solution, as they seek to explore incurable prejudices against anything contrary to established institutions. Where Shelley draws on romanticism in the rejection of the creature, Scott reiterates the same rebuff of replicants, confounded in the controlling nature of corporation. Through analysis of Techniques, the responder gains a heightened appreciation for Shelley and Scott’s criticism of humanities’ failure to accept the other and highlights their contextual concerns. The inherent fear of the unknown and the threat posed by unnatural change, forms a backbone in both texts. The Romantic period of Shelley’s time for example was a reaction against the unnatural progression of the enlightenment which sought the destruction of religious dogma and superstition in place of rationality. Romantics felt threatened by intellectuals in the same way the creature produces fear in all he encounters. Interestingly, the creature is never given a name, a device which elucidates the ‘unknown’ and fear he provokes. He is characterised as “deformed and horrible”, and he himself realises “my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid from its very resemblance”. This description draws upon features which make him particularly frightful to humans; his difference includes similarities. Being constructed by Shelley, humanoid in shape and made from body parts, the creature becomes a walking embodiment of death and decay. The ‘other’ is made horrifying because they often present to people deep-seated fears about themselves. In this case, the creature reminds people he...
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