Frankenstein and Blade Runner
Frankenstein and blade runner essay Which text do you feel better represents the values of the composer? You must refer to both texts in detail Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner are two texts from different centuries, but they both share the same values, themes and issues including; the natural world, scientific advancement, morality of humans and responsibility. Both texts use a variety of techniques to represent their values, themes and issues. The techniques used in both texts are reflective of their context and are able to strongly represent the values of both Frankenstein and Blade Runner.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was written in 1818. This was a period where romanticism was developing, a time which focused on the sublimity of nature and on the individual. This theme is evident throughout the novel and is used to emphasise the emotions of the characters and to suggest the power of nature for both beauty and destruction.
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Shelley often uses the sublimity of nature as an invigorating device for victor, “when happy, inanimate nature had the power of bestowing on me the most delightful sensations. A serene sky and verdant fields filled me with ecstasy.
The present season was indeed divine; the flowers of spring bloomed in the hedges, while those of summer were already in bud. ” Vivid imagery is used here to illuminate the peacefulness and contemplation of the sublime nature that is constantly surrounding victor. Shelley has also illustrated this notion further by the use of alliteration, “serene sky”, to capture how perfect the world is at that time, which reinforces the peacefulness of nature and how victor feels when he is surrounded by the natural world. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is set in a corrupted 21st century world.
Similarly to Frankenstein, the natural world is evident but in Blade Runner it is seen as the unnatural world. In the first panoramic shot, the audience sees a destroyed world, a dark industrial urban wasteland which is heavily polluted. Visual irony is created here as it is meant to be Los Angeles, which means “city of angels”, but we see that it looks more like hell. We see that nature has been destroyed. Animals are rare and are presumed extinct, although the unicorn is seen as a natural creature in a natural setting.
The unicorn symbolises the ambiguity of hope, freedom and spirit. There is no sign of any trees or plants except for a miniature Bonsai tree symbolising mans inherent desire to control nature to conform to what humanity believes is a better version. We also see constant darkness and rain, which is known as film noir and are the only aspects the audience sees when in an outside scene. The panoramic shot and film noir speculate the natural is now off world, that there is nothing natural, which creates a post apocalyptic tone.
Shelley’s world was moving forward into the direction of industrialisation, exploration and scientific research. This is conveyed through characters such as Victor, Walton and Clerval who are all searching, exploring and attempting to make a discovery. We see in the start of the book Victor has an interest for natural philosophy, “natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate. ” The use of personification suggests that natural philosophy is a person that Victor idolises and wants to know everything he possibly can about it causing his interest to turn into an obsession. i became dizzy with immensity of the prospect which it illustrated, as surprised, that among so many men of genius who had directed their enquiries towards the same science, that i alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret. ” This quote establishes that Victor is intelligent and is able to intellectually break barriers beyond those that have ever been broken and discover the source of life. Hence, now being able to create his ‘monster’. Similarly in Scott’s film we see that 21st century L.
A is all about scientific activity and advancements in technology. It is a world based on commerce, as we can see throughout the entire film through the blimp that promotes going off world and big wall signs i. e. the Asian lady taking pills. Technology is also used to detect what is and isn’t human i. e. the Voight Komph test. Disembodied voices are used on the street i. e. when crossing roads it says “walk” and “don’t walk”. All these aspects of technology are a way of controlling the population of L. A.
Scientific activity is seen through Tyrell, a scientist, who is the creator of all replicant things i. e. humans and animals. “Commerce is our goal here and our motto is more human than human”, this quote was said by Tyrell and reflects on Tyrell’s attitude towards life. He takes the role of God, creating life trying to make the replicants smarter and stronger than real humans, feeling as though he is dominant over everyone else in the world. This is shown through upwards tilt of the camera on Tyrell’s building, making him appear larger and above everybody else.
Victor Frankenstein does not truly contemplate of foresee the consequences of his scientific quest to create life, nor does he take the moral responsibility for his creation afterwards. Victor continually justifies why he refuses to take responsibility for his creation, which is solely because he doesn’t want to incriminate himself and be punished, although he stated “ a new species would bless me as its create and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. This shows Victor’s lack of morality and reveals his ego through the use of unreliable narrator. Scott’s film raises concerns of scientific advancements and its lack of morality and responsibility for those it affects. Blade Runner represents its values through ambiguity. Blade Runner leaves it up to the viewer’s own judgement of morality and responsibility within the film. An example of this is through the use of cinematography in the scene where Deckard ‘retires’ Zhora. Passersby walk past without showing any concern or emotion to what has happened.
The lack of morality and responsibility arouses deep emotions of anger and dislike. Scott is not as assertive in representing his values as Shelley is. Through the use of camera shots, cinematography and irony he easily represents his values but through the use of ambiguity he leaves things for interpretation from the viewers. Due to the ambiguity present in Blade Runner, some viewers may be unable to identify the values that are present, so therefore the values stated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are better represented.