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Analyse how Frankenstein and Blade Runner imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time. An individual can challenge conventional ideals in society in their time. The novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley in 1818 and the film, Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982, incorporate characters, which challenge ethics in their society. They challenge values of dependent responsibility and the fundamentals of being human. A dependent is like a parent, someone who needs to take responsibility of another to support and tech them.
In these texts, the characters of Frankenstein and Tyrell are expected by society to take on this role but don’t which leads to dire consequences. In both contexts of the texts, it was required a parent was to care and take responsibility of their child and young, this value ignored by Victor and Tyrell. In Frankenstein, Victor rejects the monster as soon as it is deemed his creation. As he brings the monster into the world, he immediately abandons his creation.
It causes trauma to the monster, which is subject to the reader through the use of first person narration during the monster’s stories where he describes his feelings towards his ‘unfeeling, heartless creator’. The audience is able to acknowledge the monster’s feeling and experiences, to emphasise the problem that is occurring. The monster becomes ‘dependent on none and related to non’ due to Victors desertion. Although Victor ‘bore a hell within [him], which nothing [can] extinguish’ he still took no responsibility in the beginning.
Shelley is reflective of the context of the industrial revolution.
This revolution involved machines taking over daily tasks in the workplace and placed less responsibility on the employees. Blade Runner also involves Tyrell, being the creator, rejecting and alienating his creations, in particular Roy. Tyrell takes succession in his is power of creating these replicants but is blind to the consequences. Symbolic use of Tyrell’s big glasses suggests he has lost sight of his responsibility; he is having difficulty seeing it. Roy questions Tyrell about the problems he faces, he ‘wants more life’, which Tyrell cannot answer for leaving him angry, resulting in Tyrell’s death.
Tyrell’s inability to support his replicants, like Roy, is due to his ambition movement in the first place and his ignorance to what he was really creating. Both creators, Victor and Tyrell, value no connection with their creations and do not provide and nourishment and guidance needed to the monster and replicants to lead a happier life. As of both contexts, it was expected a parent would guide their young but it is relevant in both these texts, certain characters choose not to, they challenge them instead. The value of what it means to be human is challenged throughout the texts.
Despite different contexts, they both challenge socially accreted human traits of their time. This idea is explored through the characters of Tyrell and Victor, the individuals living in society. In Frankenstein, the brutality of Victor as he swears vengeance on the monster, becomes the beginning of his downfall. As he lets Justine and Elizabeth die, along with many others, the audience questions how he could let this happen. Shelley uses a Walton as a foil to Victor to highlight the various features different between them, especially Victor’s flaws.
As we refer to Victor’s creation as the ‘monster’, he starts to more of a human than Victor. The monster makes an ultimatum out of desperation because he feels ‘solitary and abhorred’ and the only rational option is a companion, he makes a plea to Victor to ‘create a female for [him], with whom [he] can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for [his] being’. This is imperative language emphasises the loving qualities the creation has grown compared to Victor who is lacking. Shelley is reflective of the gothic genre, popular at the time of writing; she makes reference to much bloody murders and foreboding settings.
In Blade Runner, Tyrell claims that is creations, the replicants are claimed as ‘more human than human’. Tyrell declares that ‘Commerce is [their] goal’, not the welfare of the replicants. In one of the last scenes, there is a close up of Roy to highlight his facial expression and emotions as he says ‘quite an experience to live is fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is like to be a slave’, emphasising the trauma he has experience due to Tyrell’s obsession. Tyrell being a human, knows that he has done wrong, although, unlike a human, does nothing to fix it or protect the replicants.
The replicants are referred to as ‘either a benefit or a hazard’, demonstrating even though there are characterised as more human than others, they are still treated like machines. An example of Roy’s human qualities is his love for Pris, the extreme close up on Roy and Pris’s last moment together, allows the audience to experience the love and connection between. The context of this film involved individuals exploring difference, ideas like feminism, gay rights and black rights were coming into trend, which is what Tyrell was doing but in a larger scale.
In these texts, Tyrell and Victor are characters, which contest over the idea in society of the fundamentals of being human. The composers both use the creational figure to contrast the poor qualities in both Tyrell and Victor. Both texts explore the notion of individuals challenge the value of being human. The novel, Frankenstein and the film Blade Runner, involve their protagonists to challenge the established social norms of their context. This exploration occurs through examination into dependant responsibility and the fundamentals of a human being.
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