Blade Runner Frankenstein Comparison Essay

Essay on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bladerunner

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Similarities between Frankenstein and Bladerunner

Many similarities can be found between Mary Shelley's 1816 novel, Frankenstein and the 1982 movie Bladerunner . The number of similarities between these two works, created more than two hundred years apart, is staggering. A cursory look at both works reveals these similarities:

Both stories feature a very intelligent person trying to play God through the creation of life. Both of the creatures were subsequently mistreated by their maker and society as a whole. In both stories, the audience is left feeling greater sympathy for the monster than for the creator.

Both stories contain a very intelligent creator who seems unaware of the forces that they are dealing with. They…show more content…

Are the Replicants revered or given special treatment because of this? No, in fact, they are treated as slaves and hunted down when they return to the birthplace of the human race.

Both creators are faced with limited tools in which to create their new lifeforms, "...but my imagination was too much exalted by my first success to permit me to doubt of my ability to give life to an animal as complex and wonderful as man. The materials at present within my command hardly appeared adequate to so arduous an undertaking..." (pg 53). This lack of materials causes both creations to suffer with characteristics that make them very different from the rest of humanity. Frankenstein's monster's image was very disgusting, "...and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; ...only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and black lips" (pg 57), while Tyrell's replicants are without the ability to feel empathy, and have a four year life span. These differences force the creatures to confront those that created them.


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“Why is it that Frankenstein and Blade Runner present similar perspectives tohumanities use of technology despite being composed more than 150 yearsapart?” in your response make detailed response to both texts.

The desire for social progression has always shrouded society. Both Mary Shelley’sFrankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) were produced duringeras of technological exploration. Through depicting technology breeching moral boundaries through context, characterisation and intertextuality, both Scott andShelley highlight the dangers of progression with the absence of ethical emotion – atimeless social issues which binds these two texts.Written during the industrial revolution and the emerging era of existentialism andexploration – Shelley’s Frankenstein can be interpreted as a warning to thetechnologically curious. This curious nature is personified throughout the protagonistVictor Frankenstein, who tragically falls victim to experimentation without boundaries. This was an attempt to forshadow the potential dangers of unmonitoredtechnological advancements. To reiterate this sentiment, Shelley also aimed to tostress the divinity of nature in the face of technological dominance through elementsof Romanticism. “The weight upon my shoulders was sensibly lightened as I plungedyet deeper into the ravine” emotive imagery highlights the cleansing effect of theenvironment, juxtaposed against the oppressive nature of the technologicallyadvanced city.This idea of negatively depicting technologic dominance is similarly illuminated byScott. To emphasise the age of globalisation, consumerism, corporate domination andcommercialism, Scott has intended the dystopian setting of P.A. 2019 to represent our  potential existence should we let technology get out of control. The establishing panoramic long shot of industrial columns spewing fire against the eternally dark horizon generated fear for what our society might come to be. The majestic zigguratsof the Tyrell Corporation loom over the city squalor – a visual metaphor for technology’s domination over society and the resulting negative impact. It is clear thatScott had intended Blade Runner to be a warning of our own progressive drive as asociety.Shelley has characterised Victor and the Monster as elements of this technological progression. Victor represents society intent on pushing the boundaries and themonster represents the product of this curiosity; of technology gone wrong;technology without ethics. “Accursed creator! Why do you form a monster so hideousthat even you turn away from me in disgust?” The monsters constant rhetoricquestioning addresses these ethics and illuminates the monster as a symbol of innocence in the face of corruption. Victor’s relationships also allow insight into themoral dilemma of creation. Victor’s positive family relationship is juxtaposed againsthis spite for the monster, a somewhat child of his. This represents the separation of emotion and technological progression and the dangers that accompany this. Thisillustrates the warning Shelley aimed her progressing society to heed.Similarly, the characterisation within ‘Blade Runner’ sheds light on the fragilerelationship between technology and emotion. Roy Batty – the product is in fact‘more human than human’ against the society that produced him; personified by theanti-her Deckard. As Roy releases a white dove upon his acceptance of imminent


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