The texts, Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” and the film “Blade Runner”, were composed more than 150 years apart; Both texts explore a dilemma that continues to be significant in the twenty-first century: the ethical and moral tension between the fear of humanity’s abuse of technology, because of our inherent flaws such as ambition, ego and greed – and the incredible potential for technology to extend life and even defy death which creates disruption to the natural progress of human life.
Frankenstein reflects directly a disrupt state of chaos and uncertainty the context in which, Mary Shelley’s novel was written. It was in a state of flux, with humanity gaining more individual power and technological advances escalating. This is also apparent in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”; however, the disturbing context of the 1980s has been projected forward to a dystopian world in 2019 of globalisation and advanced technology.
The film “Blade Runner” reflects the growing awareness in the 1980s that human actions were threatening the well being of nature, and that the rights and needs of individuals were being overshadowed by the loss of identity, the greedy pursuit of profit, and human integrity. The extinction of many natural species, the threat of acid rain, global warming, and the pollution of once pristine environments were suddenly making headlines in the media.
“Blade Runner”, like “Frankenstein”, is a hybrid text, blending the science-fiction and hard-boiled detective genres to create what has been referred to as tech noir. Both genres have their roots in the Western genre, which features a lone individual – a flawed but heroic outsider with a strong moral code fighting for justice against the corrupt forces of society.
In representing the worlds of “Frankenstein” and “Blade Runner”, both Shelley and Scott have used light and dark to a similar but significant effect. The increasing darkness symbolically suggests the escalating dangers of misusing the...