Changing Values of Science in Frankenstein and Bladerunner

Analyse the ways in which a comparative study of Frankenstein and Blade Runner reveals the changing and/or maintaining of values and perspectives involving mankind’s inter-relationship with science and technology.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and the film Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott both provide detailed insights into how the nature of the human inter-relationship with science and technology has both similarities and differences when compared between a nineteenth century perspective and a modern one. The complex nature of similarity and divergence is displayed through the use and abuse of science in both texts, with the noble but lingeringly egotistical aims of Frankenstein compared with the capitalistic and commerce-driven ones displayed in Blade Runner. This is contrasted strongly however with the blatant replacement of religion, nature and the sublime with a manmade world scape dominated by science, pollution and artificiality.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw a time of startling breakthroughs in science and technology and a growing faith in the power of science to improve human life. The increased acceptance and growth of science and learning and the sheer number of breakthroughs of things never thought possible led to this period becoming known as the Age of Enlightenment. It is from this context that Frankenstein receives much of its influence in its initial portrayal as science as an avenue of human betterment; an untapped source with the power to solve the world’s problems. This is first depicted through the opinions and aspirations of Robert Walton with his glorification of science, “I may discover the wondrous power that attracts the needle, and may regulate a thousand celestial observations”. The hyperbole and heavenly references all serve to accentuate the power and importance that science is shown to have. Egotism is also displayed however, “do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose…I preferred glory to every...