Date Submitted:
03/18/2011 05:14 AM
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Frankenstien & Blade Runner

The social and historical contexts surrounding Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1816, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (Director’s Cut), 1992, influence the meaning and significance of each text as perceived by their audiences, through contrasting mediums of the novel and film respectively. Although discussing similar themes relating to humanity’s pursuit for knowledge and perfection, the responsibility of the creator and the factors which determine a person’s humanity, Frankenstein and Blade Runner, highlight the distinct and contrasting concerns of the contexts in which they were composed. As a result, the responder’s understanding of the meaning and significance of both Frankenstein and Blade Runner is not only derived within the themes presented in the text, but rather, the overriding contextual concerns of these texts. Thus, the discussion of similar themes within different contexts, provide contrasting implications.

An integral aspect of both Frankenstein and Blade Runner is humanity’s pursuit for knowledge and a criticism of the overreaching desire for perfection, and how such desires isolate the individual and threaten society. The central concern arising from the pursuit for knowledge and perfection is the notion of the creator and the usurping of the role of God within society. Victor Frankenstein, concerned with the “principle of life,” desires to learn “the secrets of heaven and earth,” and by doing so attempts to create the perfect being, through electricity. Frankenstein dreams of creating “a new species which would bless me as its creator and source” This may be seen as Shelley’s criticism of the Romantics of the 19th Century who naively believed that the source of life had been discovered from Galvanic experiments involving the reanimation of dead organisms. Likewise, in Blade Runner, Tyrell attempts to create beings, “more human than human,” who copy “human beings in every way except their emotions.” He achieves this through advancements in genetic…

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