Frankenstein/Blade Runner Comparative Essay

Topics: Frankenstein, Blade Runner, Replicant Pages: 3 (1145 words) Published: June 25, 2013
While all texts originate from the imagination of their composer, they also explore and address the issues of their contexts. This is clearly the case with Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein (1818) which draws upon galvanism and the industrial movement and Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1992) which has been heavily influenced by Thatcherism and Reagonomics. Despite there being over 150 years between their compositions both these texts explore several common themes such as mankind’s loss of humanity and man attempting to play God. Through the exploration of these common thematic concerns and the universal depiction of protagonists and societies obsessed with the Machiavellian pursuit of science and technology, these texts build upon each other’s warnings to humanity and ultimately become linked through time. The common thematic concerns of these texts are explored through the use of camera angles, imagery and metaphors. A central theme shared by Frankenstein and Blade Runner is the dangers of unrestrained scientific progress, a theme most evident when Frankenstein bestows the “spark of life” upon his creature in his effort to “pour a torrent of light into our dark world”. Here Shelley alludes to the science of Galvanism which held the belief that bodies could be resurrected through an electrical current, or “spark”. This compliments Shelley’s later allusion, “a thing such not even Dante could have conceived” which alludes to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, a poem recounting a man’s journey through hell. These allusions work hand in hand to parallel unrestrained scientific advancements with pain and suffering equivalent to journeying through hell, as well as communicating Shelley’s warning to the reader of the hellish ramifications that are inevitable if man continues to explore science in such a reckless manner. Blade Runner further enforces the dangers of unrestrained scientific progress and builds upon Shelley’s warning through the opening panoramic...
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