- Submitted by: TheBigCheese
- Views: 1925
- Category: English
- Date Submitted: 08/09/2010 04:54 AM
- Pages: 7
The respective Romantic and Post Modern contexts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner lead them to share a similar critique of an overweening rationalism that purports to be ‘progress’. Due to its bleaker context, Blade Runner amplifies its critique; yet for the most part they follow a common trajectory of meaning, exploring humankinds usurping of the role of creator, the displacement of nature and the unseating of the human condition. However their historical differences lead them to radically diverge in their treatment of the value of art in responding to this crisis of hubristic reason.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores how traditional views on creation were displaced by the Enlightenment. Viktor Frankenstein is quoted as possessing a “fervent longing to penetrate the secrets of nature”. The implication is that Frankenstein is usurping the power of a pantheistic God. Shelley also uses literary allusion to Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a poem which Shelley admits was very influential in shaping her young mind, to strengthen her argument. Like Frankenstein, Coleridge’s Mariner is eternally punished, and the chaos caused by the monster represents a message against the enlightenment ideology. Clearly, Shelly wants us to realise that to betray God is to wreak havoc on the harmonious structure of life.
In Frankenstein, Nature is being displaced; the binary of industrialised city versus harmonious nature is constantly portrayed. “Insert technique”. Through Frankenstein, we can see that nature is highly valued in the text as a redemptive agent “No one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature... still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth” Viktor through creating an aesthetic abomination superseded the role of nature. Yet he finds refuge in nature. True to her Romantic roots Shelley pays homage to the sublime in nature with beautiful visual imagery “Insert quote here”. Shelley is a true romantic...