Frankenstein and Bladerunner: Parenting

Frankenstein and Blade Runner both explore the issue of the role of parenting. Through their texts,
Shelley and Scott express their concern for a lack of parental responsibility. Their concern is shown
through the poor parental guidance illustrated in the texts and the negative repercussions that
follow, for both ‘child’ and ‘parent.’ From comparing both texts on this common issue, the
responder gains deeper insight into the universal importance of the concept.
Both texts individually portray a lack of parental responsibility, and in the novel this is represented
through Frankenstein. Upon the birth of his unnamed ‘son,’ the monster, Frankenstein describes in
horror the monster’s, “yellow skin [that] scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries ... his
watery eyes, that seemed almost the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set.”
The pejorative, grotesque imagery emphasises Frankenstein’s rejection of his creation, based purely
on physical appearance. The use anatomical terms also alludes to the macabre influences of the
Gothic novel, an important literary contextual influence on Shelley. Frankenstein, exclaims in the
name of “Great God!” and abandons his ‘son,’ as he was “unable to endure” such his birth,
condemning it a “catastrophe.” The repetition of derogatory epithet’s used for the monster by
Frankenstein, like “daemon,” “vile insect” and “wretch,” dehumanise the monster, as his ‘father’
fails to recognise him as a human and as his offspring. Frankenstein shows prejudice to his ‘child,’
based on appearance, not fulfilling the parental responsibility of accepting a child for who they are.
Through exposing the responder to this and the latter consequences of Frankenstein’s actions,
Shelley expresses the integral value of parenting and her concern for parental responsibility.
In Blade Runner, Tyrell is the ‘father’ of the Replicants, whom he had created for the “Off-world as
slave labour, in the hazardous exploration...