Frankenstein and Bladeruner

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Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their times.
Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott??™s Bladerunner both portray characters that challenge the values of their times. Both composers aim to raise questions about the values of their society, such as the abuse of nature, man playing god and the importance of nurture.
Shelley was greatly influenced by the Romantic Movement and this is shown in Frankenstein. The Romantic Movement reiterated the appreciation for the beauty of nature and its perfection. This is shown through the vast difference between the ugliness of the creature and the beauty of man and other natural sights. This is shown when Shelley writes ???the unsustained snowy mountain-top, the glittering pinnacle…they gathered round me and bade me be at peace??? to show the respect for nature that the Romantic Movement had instilled in Shelley. This is further highlighted in ???never did I behold a vision so horrible as his face, of such loathsome yet appalling hideousness??? to show the vast difference between the beauty created by nature and the monstrosities created by man. The character of Victor Frankenstein shows the complete disregard for nature and the dangers this presented in time the novel was written. These messages of the importance of the environment are also present in the dystopic world of Bladerunner. In Los Angeles 2019, the resources of the earth have dried up and the human population is encouraged to settle in the ???off-world??? colonies. The opening scenes of the film show a murky, dim world with constant acid rain and spontaneous bursts of flames. This environmental warning comes from an era of ???Reaganism???, where big businesses flourish at the expense of nature, encouraged by President Reagan. The destroyed world depicted in Bladerunner is designed to show the viewer the dangers of ruing the beauty of nature for their own selfish gain. The mixed-up street language depicted in the film shows the rapid globalisation of the world and how it contributed to the earth??™s decay. Both texts here show that nature is a beautiful, being destroyed by man-made creation.
Shelley also raises questions about the wisdom of man playing god. Her ideas about the secret to life came from the experiments of the scientist Galvani. He managed to imitate life in dead frogs by charging them with electricity. This was not really reanimating the dead but to the uneducated masses, that was how it appeared. Her original title ???The Modern Prometheus??? suggests that when a human creates life, he will ultimately be punished. Man??™s inferiority to gods is shown in ???God, in pity, made man beautiful after his own image, but my form is a filthy type of yours???. This shows how Frankenstein as a creator did fail in creating a species that ???…bless me as its creator and source: many happy beings would owe their natures to me???. This shows Frankenstein??™s foolish confidence in thinking that he could irresponsibly create a being from ???lifeless clay???. This warning of man playing with god is also apparent in the film Bladerunner. Eldon Tyrell creates life in the form of replicants, who are made with the sole purpose of serving the humans in the off-world colonies. These replicants are barely distinguishable from humans and only a voight-kampff test can separate them. In the scene there where Roy Batty meets Tyrell there are many biblical references designed to show the responder that Tyrell is attempting to play god. Tyrell states ???look at you: you??™re the prodigal son; you??™re quite a prize??? to show how Tyrell references himself at Roys father because he is Roys creator. Many visual clues in the scene also indicate Tyrell??™s likeness to a god, such as his rich white robe, and his giant temple of a corporate building. In both Frankenstein and Bladerunner, the creations become more than what their creators expected them to be. Frankenstein ran from his monster and left it to die, but the creature learnt to survive and became an intelligent being, capable of moral reasoning. In Bladerunner the replicants were created without emotion, but they became more than that, they developed emotions as shown by Roy Batty when he howls over Pris??™ dead body. They were capable of love and hate and they didn??™t deserve to be treated as second-class citizens. Both texts deal with the folly of man playing god and ultimately both creations rise to destroy their makers in revenge.
Mary Shelley also makes comment on the importance of nurture to a child/creation. After Victor Frankenstein abandons all parental responsibility towards his monster, the monster is forced to fend for himself in a hostile world. Although he is of gigantic stature he has no language skills, no knowledge of hunger or thirst and no sense of right or wrong. This is shown in ???it was indeed, a long time before I learnt to distinguish between the operations of my various senses???. The monster is left alone in the world being rejected by the human race and his loneliness is shown in ???but where are my friends and relations??? This abandonment by Victor and the rejection by the De Lacey??™s is the catalyst for the monsters appalling behaviour. Mary Shelley creates sympathy for the monster by allowing him to narrate a section of the novel. In doing this Shelley raises the question ???Is it really the monster??™s fault??? The responder is positioned to see Victor??™s downfall as a result of his failure as a parent. His monster was never even given a name. May Shelley leads the responder to see that a lack of nurture can ultimately lead to your destruction. This idea is also taught in Bladerunner, where the Nexus 6 replicants escape and are trying to reach their creator Tyrell. The replicants were designed as slaves and treated as second-class citizens although they are stronger and smarter than humans. The Nexus 6 replicants have even developed emotions and that is why they begin to rebel against their 4 year life span. The discrimination against the replicants is shown though the killing of replicants being called ???retirement??? not murder. Humanity??™s prejudice is also shown through the replicants being referred to as ???skin-jobs???. In the scene where Roy Batty meets Eldon Tyrell, there is no sense of affection between the creator and the creation. Tyrell feels no responsibility towards Roy??™s plight for more life, he merely sees Roy as evidence of his own success and superiority. This is shown through the technical jargon of ???The facts of life… to make an alteration in the evolvement of an organic life system is fatal???. Throughout both texts there are lessons about the dangers of not nurturing your ???children???.
Both Frankenstein and Bladerunner aim to teach the responder of the importance of nature, the dangers of man playing god, and the need for nurture. These texts both deal with the same universal issues, using their character to raise questions in society. By studying these didactic texts together a deeper understanding of these issues is reached.