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Blade Runner and Frankenstein

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Texts in Time

Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time

Individuals have an almost unlimited power to create, destroy and evolve. The story of Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley in the 1800's is a classic example of the individual's ability to generate along with the use of imagination with the protagonist Viktor Frankenstein pushing the boundaries of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions whilst questioning Romanticisms values. Consequently the film Blade Runner continues these queries 200 years later with Ridley Scott's dystopian projection of the future, challenging the research into genetics, technology and late capitalisms focus on consumerism. This is done through the adroit use of various language and film features and techniques.

The ancient story of Prometheus and his over reaching of himself and mankind is recreated by Mary Shelley in the novel Frankenstein. Shelley wrote her novel in the peak of the Scientific Revolution soon after Galvani's discovery of the fictitious 'animal electricity' sparking her idea of the regeneration of life. Shelley was also a great writer surrounded by eminent Romantic influences such as husband Percy Shelley and friend Lord Byron. These key influences inspired her characterisation of Viktor Frankenstein, the modern Prometheus. Frankenstein is a symbol of the scientific and then-active industrial revolution and how it caused humanity to slowly disregard nature "I did not watch the blossom of expanding leaves". The fleeting tone of the 'blossom' demonstrates how Viktor did not choose to ignore his surroundings but instead how he was simply too engulfed in his work to take notice of his disconnection. Promethean overreaching is also emphasized by Viktor's clouded vision due to his hubris "a new species would bless me as its creator and source", criticizing the Enlightenments focus on individual freedoms. This provides us with a warning that obsession with work will lead us to ignore nature and our surroundings; this warning is taken further 200 years later in the film Blade Runner.

Walton's disregard

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