2011 HSC question
‘In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Frankenstein and Blade Runner?’ Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1818) and Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner Director’s Cut’ (1992) both convey the important values of humanity and warn against possible negative futures despite very different contexts in both texts. The lack of nature and religion in Blade Runner, which has been replaced by science conveys the dehumanising effects of science and materialism which is similar in Frankenstein although the context of Frankenstein valued nature instead of exploiting it. Scott and Shelley both warn against the possible effects of science on humanity despite different contexts showing that over time, important values still remain significant. A comparative study therefore highlights that despite different contexts, important values are still relevant. Frankenstein is similar to Tyrell as they both seek to create artificial life in order to achieve their own personal ambitions. Similarly they are both punished severely for crossing the boundaries of nature which accentuates the fear of science and its dehumanising effect on humanity. In ‘Frankenstein’ the allusion to the ‘Modern Prometheus’ reflects Shelley’s Romantic views on the importance of nature and warns of trying to cross its boundaries. Romantics believed in simplicity which is shown by Victor’s warning to not ‘become greater than his nature will allow’ as well Walton’s description of Frankenstein who is ‘on the brink of destruction’ foreshadowing further events and emphasising Shelley’s warning on crossing the boundaries of nature by creating life. Religious barriers are also crossed by the creation of the ‘Monster’ as a transgression of the role of God in creating life. Shelley’s warning of creating life is then demonstrated by the punishment Victor receives and his immediate illness after creating the Monster. ‘as if I had been guilty of a crime’ –word choice of...
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