Engl Adv. Frankenstein and Bladerunner Essay

2009 Module A: Texts in Time

“A deeper understanding of disruption and identity emerges
from considering the parallels between Frankenstein and Blade Runner.”

Compare how these texts explore disruption and identity.

The human race, despite its great diversity, is united by one shared quality – our humanity. Our tendency to strive toward new knowledge and discoveries and our instinctual nature to survive as well as create make us primarily the same. The science-fiction novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, published in 1818, and Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, released in 1982 present some of the human experiences that we encounter and make us reflect upon our human nature, two of which involve ‘disruption’ and ‘identity’.

The desire for knowledge and the efforts toward an advancement of science often results in the disruption of one’s sense of morality. At the time of writing her novel, Shelley was exposed to some famous scientists at the time, including Giovanni Aldini who conducted public experiments in an attempt to regenerate life from dead organic material in 1803. Such controversial issues at the time inspired her characterisation of Victor, who is an ambitious scientist whose goal is to artificially create life. His sense of morality is disrupted as his egotistic attitude blinds him from seeing the consequences of his actions, which can be seen in his claim: “More, far more will I achieve: I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers…” The emphasised use of first person language as seen in the repetition of ‘I’ sets a hubristic tone. The audience can hear his confidence and determination. The foreshadowing of some great disturbance in nature is made when he continues, “… and unfold to the world the greatest mysterious of creation.” The superlative description tells the audience that Victor is determined to seek out Nature’s secrets and exploit the moral boundaries if it is necessary. Indeed, later in the book when the monster is born, this...