Frankenstein and Blade Runner - Comparative in Context.

Authors Avatar by appleibeatsgmailcom (student)

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. “Learn from me how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge.”* This is true of the context as many where shocked by its controversial nature. The value of nature can be seen very clearly in Frankenstein, with metaphors such as the “wondrous works with which nature adorns her chosen dwelling places.” riddled throughout.  Along with this value is the subsequent rejection of the Industrial Revolution. In Blade Runner however, nature is commoditized, such as the owl in Tyrell’s office, highlighted by a close up shot and Rachel’s statement, “Do you like our owl?”

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This slight difference in value is carried on in wealth, which is more visible in Blade Runner, such as the high angle shot of the Tyrell corporation, showing how Tyrell’s wealth has allowed him to tower above the pollution. In Frankenstein, wealth allows Victor a happy childhood spent in mansions and an extensive education that similarly allowed him to rise above the ‘commoner’s. A notable value in Blade Runner is feminism, for along with standard military male Roy Batty, Zhora is somewhat of an assassin. In Frankenstein, Elizabeth is simply domesticated and there to be married. Another value carried*through both ...

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