Frankenstein and Blade Runner Essay (Contexts and Representation)
Explore the way in which different contexts affects the representation of similar content in the texts Frankenstein and Blade Runner.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, whilst separated by 174 years, feature very similar content which can be seen by comparing the two side by side. Coming from different contexts, they both express their anxieties about technology, which is shown through a man made creature, and they both exhibit a strong valuing of nature. However due to their different contexts, these ideas are represented differently. The medium of production is clearly different, as is the representation of the creature and whether or not they are able to assimilate into society. In both texts the responder
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The question relates back to the advancements in technology, asking whether “just because we can do this, does that mean we should?” In Frankenstein, Shelley poses this question through the monster’s narration in the central chapters. The hatred he portrays for his life can be shown in his quote “Cursed, cursed creator. Why did I live?” which he uses to open Chapter 16. This notion is also explored due to the fact Shelley positions the reader to feel sympathy towards the monster rather than Victor. When the monster begins his tale in chapter 11, his story evokes sympathy from us with his emotive and poetic language. His story makes us feel empathetic towards him, rather than Victor. From the beginning of the monster’s narration “A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me...” Shelley writes the monster’s dialogue as sophisticated, poetic, contemplative and also logical, which combines traits of romanticism and the age of reason into one. The sophistication and thematic structure of his words is clearly part of the Age of Reason, as opposed to the exploration of his sense, which pertains to the influences of Romanticism and this combination of the two prominent philosophy groups of the time helps to make him appealing to both social spheres. This helps to make create empathy for the creature and in turn, evoke moral and ethical questions about his creation and treatment.