Frankenstein and Bladerunner How Does the Representation of the Theme Reflect Context in the Two Texts

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Authors of various texts bring out ideas in their work, through the themes present, which reflect the ideas and values of the era in which they were written. This is no different to the authors: Mary Shelley ??“ of the novel ???Frankenstein??™ bringing out aspects of the Romantic Era, and Ridley Scott ??“ of the film ???Blade Runner??™ reflecting the power hungry society of the time. Such themes common to both texts are Creation and Creator, Nature versus Nurture and the pursuit of science.
The theme creation and creator has a strong presence in both Frankenstein and Blade Runner. It explores how the creation is better than the creator, and is presented in both texts through the juxtaposition of the creator against the creation.
In Frankenstein this is presented when his creature realises that he is superior to his creator. ???You are my creator, but I am your master;–obey!??? This forceful, almost command-like dialogue is a comparison between the creation and his creator. It is representative of the creature ascending above the creator. It brings out Shelley??™s values as it is also representative of man – the creation ascending above God – the creator. Shelley is warning against this.
Similarly in Blade Runner the superiority of the creature, Roy Batty is presented as being better than humans in every way. He has superhuman qualities: strength, intellect and finally compassion and forgiveness. Roy finally being able to accept death; a consequence imposed by his creator Tyrell, is able to forgive the bloodthirsty Deckard. Ridley??™s use of juxtaposition is a link to the 1980s values of looking forward into future technology and benefiting from it.
Nature versus Nurture is another theme which is closely linked to the contexts of both Frankenstein and Blade Runner.
The Frankenstein??™s creation is just like a newborn baby when he is first created, but becomes the monster when instead of nurturing him; Frankenstein runs away and abandons his creature. The creature is enraged and filled with self-pity which is evident through Shelley??™s use of emotive language as he learns of the injustice of Frankenstein observing the family. ???I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.??? This gives the responder a glimpse into the motivation for the creature??™s crimes and also emphasizes his injustice for not being properly cared for by his creator Frankenstein, which has similar values to Prometheus of Greek mythology and God of the Bible. This relates to the values of the time of new ideas replacing God.
Unlike the creature in Frankenstein, the replicants of Blade Runner are nurtured and taught not to have any emotions of their own to be slaves; however they have their own human nature. This idea is evident through Ridley??™s plot structure. Rachael, a replicants has been raised not to have emotions of her own. All her memories are implants from Tyrell??™s niece and she believes herself to be human. This raises some significant moral issues which draws links to the questioning of the moral values of capitalism. Further evidence of the replicants??™ inherent human nature is the emotive imagery in the scene where Zhora is ???retired??™. The pounding heartbeats are human characteristics of fear as well as the mirrored emotions on both Deckard, a human and Leon, another replicants. This also raises moral questions about capitalistic values.
The pursuit of knowledge also plays a major role in both Frankenstein and Blade Runner.
In Frankenstein Mary Shelley??™s representation of the consequences of the pursuit of knowledge reflect the context of the era known as the age of enlightenment.
In Frankenstein the consequences of impulsive pursuit of knowledge and science are surfaced. This is achieved through Shelley??™s use of rhetorical through Victor Frankenstein??™s written warnings to Walton. ???Learn from me??¦ how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.??? Shelley warns that there is a fine line between knowledge and crossing into the realm of God and that there are consequences. Frankenstein??™s pursuits into the creation of life can be seen as a reflection of Shelley??™s context in the age of reason.
Similarly in Blade Runner the pursuit of more advanced technology brings about the fear of destruction. This is most clearly depicted through the visual and aural imagery of the gruesome murder of Tyrell, at the hands of his creation Roy. The soft whimpering sounds emitted by Tyrell emphasises his helplessness as his skull is crushed. This brings out the fear of science being too powerful, values represented by the fear of Nuclear Weapons in Scott??™s context.
Frankenstein and Blade Runner reflect their context through the discussion of their themes. Discussed and raised in both are the themes: Creation and the creator ??“ looking at how man transcends God and the consequences of it, Nature versus Nurture ??“ Getting rid of God and questioning the morals of capitalism, the pursuit of Knowledge and how science should never replace God and the consequences of powerful technology.