Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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The act of reading plunges us into a network of textual relations. Write an ?essay in which you argue your understanding of the network of textual ?relations apparent in your reading of Frankenstein and Blade Runner.?

The network of textual relations evident both within and between the seminal ?novel Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley and the cult classic film Blade ?Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, reveal the timeless nature of significant ?human concerns; including mankind??™s desire to defy the natural order, and ?the destruction of nature. Despite being set two centuries apart and ?developed from different social, cultural and historical contexts, these ?thematic parallels demonstrate the timelessness of them. Where Mary Shelley??™s ?novel operates in a conflicting paradigm of Romantic Idealism and rational ?Enlightenment, Scott??™s film functions as a response to the technological and ?medical advancement in a postmodern era.?

In both texts, the impetus for a destructive engagement in science and ?creation stems from humanity??™s desire to transgress moral boundaries. Fuelled ?by a Romantic sensibility, Shelley condemns humanity??™s unchecked pursuit of ?intellectual glory and ambitious longing to usurp the natural order. This notion ?is evident through the intertextual relationship between the Greek Myth of the ?Modern Prometheus and Frankenstein. The title of this novel, ???Frankenstein, A ?Modern Prometheus??? draws a focus on the Promethean notion of humanity??™s ?desire to impinge the realm of Nature by exploring the common human ?concerns within characters of Victor and the mythological figure, Prometheus.?

The novel concentrates on Victor??™s Promethean obsession in order to ?demonstrate enduring notions of defying the natural order. This is evident in ?Victor??™s ???fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature??? where the use of ?force ???action??™, ???penetrate??? evokes a Romantic notion which critiques the ?breach of the moral compass. Furthermore, the use of chiaroscuro in ???…break ?through and pour a torrent of light into our dark world,??? demonstrates Victor??™s ?desire to defy the natural order which thus illustrates his destructive egoism and ?hubris. Additionally, the narcissistic tone in, ???bless me as their creator and ?source…owe their being to me???, compounds this notion by emphasising ?Victor??™s Promethean obsession and his attempt to assume the role of God. ?Thus, it is possible to observe the timelessness of this human concern as the ?message prevails in both Greek mythogical and Romantic contexts.?
Analogously, the notion of exceeding moral boundaries is evident in Scott??™s ?Blade Runner, thus demonstrating the network of textual relations between the ?two texts. Synonymous to Frankenstein, Tyrell represents the complex individual ?with no regards to moral obligations. This is signified through Tyrell??™s thick lenses ?where myopia symbolises his inability to perceive his erroneous actions. In ?addition, his hubristic motto, ???commerce is [their] goal at Tyrell Corporation,??? ?emphasises the materialistic gains that Tyrell receives by playing his role as the ?????God of Biomechanics???. Tyrell??™s deification of science elicits features of the ?post-modern critique of mass consumerism and notions of radical change in ?social order within the cyberpunk genre. Furthermore, his overreaching desires ?are portrayed by the temple-like imagery of the Tyrell Corporations whereby a ?low-camera angle is used to convey a colossal structure resembling that of a ?Mayan ziggurat, which positions itself above the entire city. It also suggests ?that religion and industry have become interchangeable in society which thus ?insinuates Scott??™s critique that religion and spirituality, both factors which are ?instrumental to the human experience, become increasingly sacrificed in ?order to satisfy mankind??™s desire for divine knowledge and control. Thus the ?textual relationship between both Frankenstein and Blade Runner illustrate the ?timelessness of the themes concerning mankind seeking to encroach the ?natural order.?

The destruction of nature by the proliferation of technology and science is a ?common concern elicited by the plight of individuals who undermine and ?fracture the values of their period. Where Shelley??™s text exposes a natural world ?on the brink of destruction at the hands of industry, Scott??™s film offers a post-?apocalyptic society of rampant capitalism and unbridled scientific progress. ?Shelley explores the discrepancy between the Pantheistic notions of nature ?and the prevalent scientific theories involving Galvanism and technology. ?Cumulation of transcendent natural elements in, ???the glittering pinnacle…the ?ragged bare ravine, the eagle soaring amidst the clouds??? compounds the ?subliminal imagery to convey restorative powers of nature which ???bade [him] ?at peace???. However, Victor??™s awe-inspired, Romantic image of the Swiss Alps ?is destroyed when feelings of desolation and misery caused by a scientific ?obsession pervades his mental state. Hence, Shelley depicts nature as an ?emotional mirror in, ???river raging among the rocks??? where alliteration is used to ?evoke Victor??™s psychological turmoil and his incapability to dispel it through ?nature. Thus, this portrays the consequence of a destructive engagement in ?science resulting in a crippling of natural restorative powers.?

Scott enriches Shelley??™s idea by evolving the destruction of nature into a ?worldwide phenomenon. Reflecting the technological explosion of the ?eighties and the post-war worlds, Scott projects and extreme long-shot of the ?decaying urban wasteland and an industrial landscape. This, coupled with ?the non-diegetic sounds of Vangelis depicts the dire consequences of ?humanity??™s egotistical greed. The cautionary implications of this setting ?parallels Pris??™s profound recognition of ???accelerated decrepitude??? of the ?global culture. Therefore, the composition of dark, murky streets of crime, ?corruption and disillusionment, typical of the film noir genre, combined with ?Scott??™s anachronistic dystopia, reminiscent of a Blakean concept of hell, ?comprehensively depict a temporal abolition of nature. Hence, both ?composers offer a timeless frame around which the proliferation of science ?disempowers nature.?

Overall, both texts postulate on the transgression of moral boundaries and the ?destruction of nature caused by an engagement in science. The contextual ?comparison of the Romantic, post-industrial period and the post-modern era, ?reveals the perennial nature of the network of textual relations between Mary ?Shelley??™s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott??™s Blade Runner.?