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Frankenstein and Blade Runner - Comparative in Context.

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Introduction

´╗┐Texts inherently embody the values and ideas prevalent at the time they are written. They are also bound by form available, and their features also reflect the society in which they are written. These influences rely to an extent upon what is popular, the dominant values and ideology as well as topical issues of the time. An example of texts betraying the context in which they are written is Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley and Blade Runner by director Ridley Scott. Frankenstein was written in 1818, during a time of scientific upheaval and questioning. Shelley incorporates this along with her interpretation of where this change could potentially lead. Blade Runner was first released in 1982 at a time when texts were swinging towards dystopia?s, and this is encompasses also in the 1991 director?s cut, which also questions the budding science of genetics. Within Frankenstein, knowledge and education is generally valued, this being seen by Victor?s extensive education. Yet certain practices such as galvanism and natural philosophy are clearly not valued, and condemned. ...read more.

Middle

Along with the rise of science came new ideas. Victor in Frankenstein experiments with making the world a better place. ?Life and death?should first break through and pour a torrent of light.? This experimentation with life gave rise to parental responsibility, and in Frankenstein it is neglected and death is reaped for the mistake. Similarly in Blade Runner, Batty states, ?I want more life? and when Tyrell does not fulfill this need as his duty as ?father?, he dies. Both texts seem to say that humans have no right to play ?god?. This then leads into what constitutes humanity. Tyrell experiments with giving the replicants pasts and emotions, with the aim of, ? We can control them better.? Yet Pris rejoins with, ?I think therefore I am.? and Batty, ?We?re not computers, we?re physical.? Both texts don?t? directly answer the questions, but show humanity through scenes such as the creature imitating the cottages in Frankenstein, and in Blade Runner, close up shots and slow motion during Zhora?s death to evoke empathy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The language and 300 Asian cast point toward a multicultural society, and its fears driven by its context. As Frankenstein began combining Gothicism and romanticism and sci-fi, Blade Runner uses a mix of intertextuality, a term coined a mere 20 years before. Even its film noir elements such as the dim lighting and blinds in Deckard?s apartment leave the audience with a feeling of when the text was created, and what elements of the time, influenced it. There is a strong link between a text and the context it has been written in, which is shown through Frankenstein and Blade Runner as they have absorbed the dominant values and ideas, were bound by the forms available, and features that are most likely to appeal, or be relevant to their audience. The similarities show how some fears transcend time, and the differences between the two texts highlight the changed context, leaving the texts as an influence of their time, various elements excluding them from modern context. When they were written they may have the epitome of the modern text, but when viewed from a different context, the time in which the text was created, even if written futuristically, is obvious. ...read more.

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