English Advanced 2010 Max Whitehouse
What does it take to be human? Why do some so relentlessly lust for the power of the creator? And if acquired can they wield that power or is Pandora’s Box best left unopened? Good Evening Students, welcome to the Sydney University lecture on “Comparative Study of Texts and Contexts”. On today’s agenda we have a comparative analysis of the texts Frankenstein and Blade Runner. You may already notice the many similarities they share but I intend in today’s lecture to take you to a new depth. Both are foreboding tales of creations run amuck. They convey themes of morality and facing our own mortality whilst exploring humanity. You never know students that rhyme may be help come the exams. Today I will discuss the moral dilemmas faced by the characters in both texts. I will provide insight to the influence the creator’s context has on the themes present within the texts and finally the ever haunting motif of death.
In Frankenstein we find that Victor is an isolationist who wishes to give life to a new species that would herald him as their creator. It should be noted that both the protagonists in the texts are in some way given the power of the creator whether it is Victor’s ability to breathe life into inanimate bodies or Deckard’s ability to so swiftly tear that life away. They both play a role that is akin to God. Deckard is forced to “retire” mankind’s creations and when analysed is a morally ambiguous character much like Victor who also engages into a bloody bout with his creation after it rebels and wishes to escape its circumstances. Both Victor and Deckard also share vary similar personality traits, Victor is a recluse who is portrayed by Shelley as a tragic character that ultimately succumbs to his own hubris, ambition. Deckard is also a detached man who is characteristically more inhuman than the synthetics. Students should note that morality is a major motif within these texts. Deckard’s poor morals are even referenced by the replicant Roy who insults him stating that it’s “Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent. I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the "good" man? C'mon, Deckard.” Deckard and Victor possess a moral dilemma and are forced to question whether those they seek to destroy are actually deserving of such demise. The Replicants have developed human emotions and are portrayed as victims of circumstance. The “Nexus 6 models” were built with a four year lifespan and thus simply wish to live. The monster was damned by his own creator as a hideous creature that is unable to live in society. The monster’s numerous attempts at befriending humans always results in his rejection or near death. It is because of his “accursed ugliness” that he is so unjustly treated and it is Victor Frankenstein who is responsible for his features. The ethical issues that face the protagonist are mirrored in the issues the authors faced at the time of the texts creation. Ridley Scott’s generation was confronted with the moral consequences associated with abortion and genetic engineering, due to technological advances that were not possible in the past. Mary Shelley’s context however was characterised themes of Romanticism. Students must understand that she was fascinated with the Romantic era and the emerging technology of the Industrial Age threatened her Romantic ideals. Nature and beauty were suddenly pitted against the artificially engineered.
Students must understand how important context is in shaping the world in which these texts take place. In Blade Runner the setting is vital in creating the atmosphere and lore within Blade Runner. Blade Runner utilises a combination of special effects to create film techniques that accurately portray an industrialised, synthetic and decaying Earth. The film’s opening scene is of a wide angle shot of industrialised science fiction city with large chimney’s churning out bursts of intense fire. The director Ridley Scott...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document