Frankenstein and Blade Runner- Human Values Remain Static as Times Change

Topic: Times change but human values remain static.                                             Tiffany Tang
Times change but human values remain static. This idea that human values can transcend time is displayed in Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, published in 1818 and Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Blade Runner, first released in 1982, as both explore the similar values held by many individuals of society. Both texts critique the value that individuals place on scientific development through characterisation. However, the film shifts the criticism of valuing pride and glory in the novel to the pursuit of economic gain as a result of the time change from the 19th century to the capitalisation of the 20th century. In both texts, the consequences of technological advancements upon nature reflect the importance placed upon nature, reflecting the influence of Romanticism on Shelley as well as the increased environmental awareness in the 20th century. However, the film focuses on the preservation of nature whilst the novel explores an appreciation of nature, an aspect of Romanticism.
Shelley warns society of the dangers of focusing on scientific advancement. Shelley addresses society as a whole through the framework of the letters between Walton and his sister Margaret through which she draws parallels between Victor Frankenstein and Walton, particularly their obsessive qualities.   Walton explains his focus on the attainment of knowledge as he feels that “there is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand. I am practically industrious- painstaking…” The obsessive qualities he has suggests danger through the connotations associated with ‘painstaking’. Similarly, upon hearing of the rewards of pursuing scientific knowledge, Victor’s mind “was filled with one thought, one conception, one purpose” to continue his study of natural philosophy. The repetition of ‘one’ shows Victor’s sole focus and obsession with science. This similarity between Walton...