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Texts in Time: Comparing Blade Runner and Frankenstein

A presentation comparing the texts Blade Runner and Frankenstein. An assessment task for the Module 'Texts in Time'.
by

Lachlan Wood

on 3 September 2010

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Transcript of Texts in Time: Comparing Blade Runner and Frankenstein

Texts in Time A comparitive study of Frankenstein and Blade Runner These two texts are from completely different times, but as we look further into them we see that similarities are drawn through the use of values, themes and ideas that appear in both texts through context. http://ryneb.blogspot.com/2008/02/movie-review-blade-runner-directors-cut.html http://www.duluth.lib.mn.us/Images/Books/BigFrankenstein.jpg Through studying aspects of the texts, such as the focus of the natural in both texts, the values and ideas shared by the texts, dialogue and language features, and the meaning and significance of each text today, we can see how the texts have been shaped through their contexts, which is their biggest similarity. The Context Frankenstein in Context Mary Shelley first published Frankenstein in 1818, writing it in between 1816-1817. These were changing times. Many attempts were being made to create life, or even re-animate the dead. Unusual experiments were being performed. It was known as the Age of Enlightenment because things were starting to be discovered, and unnatural things were becoming a more common occurence. These issues that were prevelent at this time influenced Shelley heavily in the writing of Frankenstein, and it is obvious through the issues raised in the novel. It is most obvious in the focus of the Natural Blade Runner in Context http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/engl/filmstudies/images/bladerunner_1.jpg An example of a post-modern asian influence on the film Ridley Scott released Blade Runner in 1982, a time in which science and technology was starting to rapidly develop. Concerns were being made about the environment, as globalization gripped the world. The world was still changing. This time, faster. Asians started to get involved with Western Culture. The world was turning on its head with black rights, womens rights and gay rights all enveloping the world at the one time. The world grew in development of science and medicine. Cloning and other Unnatural processes including stem cell research, robotics and IVF started to become normal and accepted. The world was becoming post-modern. All of these issues had an influence on the films creation, and all of them are represented through the films main ideas. The Natural Nature in Frankenstein http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_cMdbfkl3Rz4/Rq_WmHeQuLI/AAAAAAAAADE/d7WsNkjXOUk/s1600/frontispice.jpg The Modern Prometheus Romanticism helped define some of the nature in the novel. The characteristics of Romanticism, such as the importance of nature and a sense of the Sublime with an emphasis on emotional sensibility, overall just added to the feel that nature already had in the novel. It points towards Victor being wrong in going against nature by creating the monster. The monster, once being created, learns to appreciate things differently to Victor, and he sees the value in both nature and the sublime. This would not be able to be transferred as well in the novel without the romantic touch to the novel. was the subtitle to Frankenstein. Mary Shelley gave the book this subtitle because of the myth of prometheus, and the similarities he had to Victor Frankenstein in opposing nature (and being duely punished for it). Prometheus in the myth, went against nature and gave humanity fire, not allowing things to develop for themselves and entering a foreign element to the earth. In this way, Victor is exactly the same. He creates his monster without thinking of the repercussions that it would have on him or the world. The Sublime gives the novel much more significance in todays world and leaves the monster open to many interpretations depending on context; hence see what it means in 1818. Nature in Blade Runner Values, Ideas and Themes Meaning and Significance http://www.brmovie.com/Images/Characters/Zhora/brsm_zhora_dead.jpg Blade Runner features no living animals. Although robotic animals are featured heavily. Nature has become less and less important in the world. So much less important that towering industrial cities reach up to the skies, and people move offworld, because Earth has become a wreck. Without natural animals how do we survive? A photo showing the dead body of the replicant zhora. Notice how it could be mistaken for a human body. Replicants how do we eat? what do we test? what happens to us? are meant to look like humans in Blade Runner. Pris quotes the line I think, Sebastian, therefore I am. Does Artificial Intelligence 'live'? In the film, making the Replicants seem human makes us relate to them, and give them this 'life' in our head, although they are genetically created beings. Comparative Summary The replicants are made to look natural. Values, Ideas and Themes shared between the two texts But they are not. Or are they? Meaning and Significance of both texts in Todays World The development of science will end badly Ungodly Creation is a sin The world will end without Nature Both texts look at the development of science in the form of creation. Victor creates the monster, and Tyrell creates the Replicants. Both of these were done from the advances in science at the times of the composers lives, coming from context. Both of the composers obiously believed that this work would end poorly for Earth and Mother Nature. And in both texts, it did. Creation is another point looked at in both of the texts. This may be an extension of the scientific point, but looking at it from a Christian basis, we see something a little different in both texts. And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good. - Genesis 1:31 The creation by Tyrell and Victor was ungodly, the creations were by man, leaving the world at a standstill. The fire had been handed to us, and life would never be the same in the texts. In the texts, both creators face justice for what they have done. Nature again. Why are the worlds in the text so bleak without it? It is an important issue, more important now than ever as the world continues to develop in fields which can be harmful. Both worlds are completely messed up when Nature is not harmonious. We should make sure Nature still likes us. What the texts mean in the World Today We've never stopped changing, developing new ways to live, new ways to communicate, and new ways to kill each other. It's faster than ever in the present. This is the relevance of the texts today. Someone could write a story using both Frankenstein and Blade Runner as a foothold, in which science goes too far and something is created which is unnatural, but seems more natural than us. This story would still have exact relevance today because of the way the world is changing, as both Frankenstein and Blade Runner have exact relevance today. What happens when science does go too far? We get Jurassic Park and every other late-20th to 21st century text written. And I mean every one. The world we live in now could easily become the world portrayed in Blade Runner given 100 years time. In my opinion, a few branches of research need to be slowed down, and we need to keep nature at the front of our minds, go out into the world with a strong mind about controversial issues. The texts have the same opinion. Frankenstein and Blade Runner share an abundance of issues being raised, values at stake and fear of the ever changing world. Through viewing their contexts, we can see that both of them share similar time periods. Time periods of change. They share these periods of development and enlightenment. And you want to know something interesting? So do we. Thankyou, Mr Moore. Lachlan Wood
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