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1) What are the contexts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ridley Scott’s

Blade Runner? Do they reflect changing values and perspectives?

- Industrial revolution & scientific advancement- Society had reached a stage
of progression where new doorways were continuously being opened and man
was developing technologies and science at a rapid rate. During this time an
era of existentialism dawned upon human kind, our innate desire to uncover
the unknown and obsession with knowledge fuelled constant progression. The
question of ‘how far is too far?’ arises within Shelley’s novel; it was obviously
an issue with which Shelley was highly opinionated. Shelley personifies a
society with no boundaries or ethical consideration within her protagonist
Victor. In doing so, she reflects the changing nature of society, would the
rapidly advancing world of 1818 put parameters on their curiosity driven
progression or would they destroy the book of life before they had read it? -
Just like Victor. Shelley intended audiences at the time to question the
relationships between social progression and ethical consideration; where
would the boundaries be put? Would there be any boundaries?
- Romantic period- the genre of romanticism descended upon writers of the
19th century, Shelley included. Romantic conventions include heightened
appreciation of nature, the emotional purgation experienced when amongst
nature and the sense of the sublime. The style of writing also focussed on the
importance of the individual and their personal actions, subverting the
traditional tendencies to glorify the noble hero. Through emotive imagery,
Shelley laces in elements of romanticism into her otherwise gothic horror
novel. Descriptive imagery is used to stress the sublime nature of the
environment during Victor’s emotional lament in the Alps. “…I sought in the
magnificence, the eternity of such scenes, to forget myself and my ephemeral,
because human, sorrows…the weight upon my spirit was sensibly lightened as
I plunged yet deeper into the ravine of Arve”

- Globalisation- During the eighties the issue within every household was
globalisation. It was the dawn of a technology driven world, where you could
guarantee your groceries were from another country. The previous national
barriers were in the process of crumbling as trade and industry evolved on a
global scale. From this spawned a consumerist driven society (one that still
exists today), corporate domination and growing environmental concerns.
Scott has used the setting of Blade Runner to reiterate these relevant issues;
visually representing various social concerns perspectives. Upon viewing the
establishing panoramic long shot, the audience is subject to industrial columns
spewing fire against the smoky horizon, this prepares the viewer for the visual
tonality of the rest of the movie, one of damp eternal darkness. This sheds
light on the increased environmental turmoil; an issue just making itself
apparent in the eighties. Scott is able to give the audience a glimpse at the
dismal future if the condemnation of the environment continues. The growing
issue of corporatisation and commercialism is addressed through the
TYRELL CORPORATION; Scott has depicted the building with majestic
ziggurats towering above the filth and squalor of the social majority, the
camera pans up to reiterate the colossal size of the building. By exaggerating
the domination of the company, Scott is able to highlight the issues of
multinational corporations dominating the global economy, and society’s
perspective of this.

2) How does the technique of characterisation support the ideas of the

- Victor Frankenstein- Victor is the society personified. He is a representation
of human intelligence without moral or ethical boundaries. Shelley has done
this to make the reader aware of the repercussions if one is ethically
complacent, to illuminate the ‘downsides’ of scientific innovation which stem
from the potential misuse of science. Victor’s narration allows the reader to
develop opinions based on his actions, and ultimately society. Shelley has
written Victors emotionally distressed thoughts (which he is reciting to
Waldon) in a way to evoke frustration towards the protagonist. Shelley does so
by juxtaposing the narrative tone of Victor’s initial enthusiasm for the monster
against his utter disgust upon its animation. “Like a hurricane I bore the first
enthusiasm of success…” AND “…the demoniacal corpse to which I had so
miserably given life” The audience is irritated by Victor’s actions as he
abandons his creation for which he has toiled over for two years. Also, Shelley
uses Victors internal voice to convey relevant themes regarding science at the
time “I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands…almost frantic
impulses urged me forward” This effectively addresses the contextual issues
regarding moral boundaries of science and the hazardous desire to ‘play god’.
Victor’s close relationship with his family contrasts against his dysfunctional
relationship with the monster- somewhat a child of his. This symbolises the
separation of science and emotion, something which can lead to ethical and
moral dilemmas.
- The Monster- The monster at first is a representation of all innocence, then as
he is exposed to the harsh nature of society the monster becomes a product of
the cruel world which excludes him. Shelley has characterised him effectively
during his confrontational conversation with Victor, his eloquent dialogue
shows the reader his frustrations with society’s shallow worship of beauty.
“Hateful day when I received life! Accursed creator! Why did you form a
monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?” Again,
shrouding the audience in the monsters internal thoughts sheds light on the
ethical issues Shelley is addressing.

- Roy Batty- Is similar to Frankenstein's monster, him being the creation of
Tyrell. Roy is portrayed as the epitome of perfection (appearance), “the
periodical son”, Adam. Scott uses animalism to reiterate Roy’s character; his
animalistic qualities are that of a wolf, a strong leader. Yet in the final scene
the animal which is associated with Roy is the dove, symbolic of purity and
innocence. This sheds light on the emotions of Roy; his acceptance of his fate
and final moments of peace in which he saves Deckard and utters his last
words (dialogue)“ time to die, time to die”. Scott has characterised Roy as the
sad product of technological curiosity. By giving him emotions and
characterising him at all, Scott is addressing the idea that even the simplest of
forms deserve the basic right to life. In Roy’s confrontation with Tyrell, he
demands “I want more life…fucker”, this effectively captures his sheer desire
for more time, his yearn to be human. The irony is that Scott characterises Roy
to be, in fact, “more human than human”. This allows the audience to accept
that emotionally to be human is to be ethically sounds, something which
Tyrell is not and Roy eventually is as he saves Deckard.
- Deckard- He is the protagonist. Emotionally, Deckard is tired with the social
constraints and corruption, his character is the stereotypical film noir lone cop
fed up with society. Gradually as the movie progresses Scott begins to
characterise Deckard to let down his guard as he develops a relationship with
one of the replicants, the ephemeral Rachael. Scott has done this to illuminate
that technological and emotional boundaries are being crossed, where does the
replicant stop and the human begin? If one can love a replicant, what’s not to
say that they can’t lead a normal life? Low angle shots in the fight scene,
looking down on Deckard establish the insignificance of humankind. This is
juxtaposed alongside the high angle shots of Roy, bathed in ethereal light as he
saves Deckard (and ultimately human kind)

3) How is genre used in both of the texts? How do literary and filmic techniques
reflect the concerns of the genre?
- Gothic/Horror- Shelley has used this genre as a vehicle for illuminating the
horrific concepts of scientific misuse and technological chaos. Originally it
was a genre which reflected society’s idea that anything was possible; a
new concept emerging from the industrial revolution and romantic period.
This genre was a tool to shed light on the possibilities, consequences and
burdens of rapid social advancement. It was somewhat foreshadowing the
possible turmoil if man did not think before acting. Shelley uses this as the
basis for her novel, illuminating the strange concept of creating life- focussing
on the repercussions of this unnatural deed. The flawed protagonist who shuts
themselves from the rest of the world is another convention of gothic, and
Shelley uses this structure to characterise Victor, his flaw; the desire to know
everything. Shelley used horror to scare the reader into confronting social
issues at the time. Scientific progression was one a hotly debated issue of the
times, many discoveries were being made, all fuelled by curiosity and
existential desire. “Frantic impulses urged me forwards”- Shelley addresses
the internal essence of science, this is also reiterated through her character of
Waldon, who is navigating the unknown territory of the arctic.
- Romanticism- appreciation of nature/ acknowledgment of the sublime/
portrayal of the individual/ emotional influence nature has on humans/. This
genre was spawned as a rejection of the mechanical literary style of
classicism. It subverted the classic convention of glorifying the heroic nobility
and in doing so, focussed on the greatness of individuals, humble peasantry
included. Romanticism was a product of the growing appreciation for man
kind and the environment. Contrast to the industrial revolution occurring at
the time. Shelley has used visual sensory imagery to reflect the concerns and
conventions of romanticism. She heightens the aesthetic qualities of nature
and allows the reader to appreciate the sublime existence of the environment.
“They congregated round me; the unstained snowy mountain-top, the
glittering pinnacle, the pine woods, the ragged bare ravine, the eagle, soaring
amidst the clouds – they all gathered round me and bade me to be at peace” –
Shelley also shrouds the scenery with personified emotions, allowing the
reader to gain a sense of the sheer influence it is having on Victor’s feelings.
Shelley also uses pathetic fallacy to heighten or foreshadow Victor’s mood.
The weather and seasons mirror and foreshadow Victor’s emotional tone
throughout the novel. (cont. from quote above) “Where had they fled when the
next morning I awoke? The rain was pouring in torrents, and thick mists hid
the summits of the mountains”- this is foreshadowing the dark confrontation
with the monster. This reiterates the convention of romanticism that the
environment has strong influence on human emotions.

- Pastiche- Scott uses a pastiche of various film genres to create a hybrid of
some sorts, a melting pot of genres, picking and choosing the various elements
from each that reiterate his desired themes, ethics, scientific boundaries,
corporatisation, consumerism, commercialisation.
- Science fiction- The science fiction genre allows composers to illuminate
possible occurrences as a repercussion of scientific experimentation. Most
science fiction texts address the flexible boundaries of science. Through this
genre the audience is presented with various chaotic circumstances where
science has gone ‘too far’. It allows the audience’s own interpretation to
develop regarding how ethically sound man must be in scientific exploration.
Scott creates an atmosphere within L.A. 2019 which reiterates this, where man
has crossed the scientific line and as a result the entire world has become dark
and damp. Scott presents the audience with a bustling dystopia not unlike that
of a wet Chinese marketplace, steam is constantly wafting across the shots and
diegetic noise pollution shrouds the streets. The use of bright artificial lights
(especially noted when Deckard kills Zhora) adds to the issue of artificiality
associated with the science fiction genre.
- Film Noir- This genre is usually associated with hardboiled crime fiction
movies of the forties. The conventions capture the anxiety of the time period
after WWII, all serving to create a mood of fear and the unknown. Most of the
elements revolve around the portrayal of setting; including harsh lighting,
strong contrast or chiaroscuro, smoky rooms, fans and venetian blinds to slice
up lighting composition indoors, jazz tunes, and the misogynistic anti hero or
dried out detective (Deckard). Scott has incorporated all these elements into
Blade Runner. The Jazz music accompanying Zhora’s death scene is a part of
the film noir genre, it establishes empathy from the audience, all the diegetic
noises fade as a slow jazz tune fades in and Zhora is shot in slow motion. This
sudden emotional purgation of empathy for Zhora is thrust upon the audience
and we feel her life is unjustly taken away, despite her being a replicant. The
uncertainty and unknown associated with film noir is established here as the
audience is uncertain whether Deckard's motifs were ethically sounds, was it
murder or just retirement? Is her emotional death just a mechanic function or
real agony?

4) Discuss the ways in which composers use landscape/setting/atmosphere in

these texts?
- Shelley uses the setting to reiterate the mood of the characters. This is a
common feature of Romanticism. Pathetic fallacy. Evoking a sense of the
sublime, allowing the audience to appreciate the divinity of nature. “The
abrupt sides of a vast glacier overhung me; a few shattered pines scattered
around; and the solemn silence of this glorious presence-chamber of imperial
nature…” Shelley uses sibilance to generate a flowing tonality throughout
her description of nature. This allows the reader to emerge themselves in the
vivid imagery, at once experiencing the awe encompassing Victor in the
presence of the colossal valleys and mountains. This sheer appreciation of
nature found in Shelley's description/setting/landscape reiterates the concept
of the divinity of the environment; this contrasts the industrial state of society
at the time. By doing so, Shelley highlights the quality of nature, addressing
the issue of playing god, why would we, if we have a nature which can create
such magnificent landscapes like these?

- Scott uses the layers of setting and landscape to generate a three dimensional
atmosphere of the future. The nature of L.A. 2019 is somewhat like that of a
Chinese market place. It is cramped, wet and artificially lit as people bustle
past each other on bicycles and on foot. By making the dystopian future
Asian influenced, Scott is commenting upon China’s domination in our
modern world. Globalisation, corporate domination, commercialism,
consumerism are all prevalent aspects in the atmosphere of L.A. 2019.
Scientific advancement, playing god, this is presented in the representation of
Tyrell as a god-like figure “the god of biomechanics”. The setting and mise-
en-scene of his intricately furnished room, with classic period furniture and
delicate drapery adorning the four poster bed eludes the fact that Tyrell is the
only one in society surrounded by aesthetic beauty; ironically he is the
individual responsible for its lack of existence in society. Candles flicker,
church organ music suggest religious connotations.

5) What scene in Frankenstein provides a representation of the idea of the role of

science? (or an idea of your choice) Explain some of the techniques used.
- The making of the monster- Shelley accurately conveys the essence of
scientific discovery within this scene. During this chapter, Victor is overcome
by the desire to attain knowledge. With use of first person narration during the
exciting time of Victor’s discovery, we gain some sense of the exhilarating
feeling he feels during his scientific progress. “Engaged heart and soul, in the
pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make. None but those who have
experienced them can conceive the enticements of science” A foreshadowing
tone is laced throughout Victor’s reflection as he recounts the strange
impulsive nature which overtook his mind whilst creating the monster. “thus
ended a day memorable to me: it decided my future. Shelley in some sense is
justifying the nature of science, giving insight into the emotional bindings of
discovery. During this chapter, Shelley uses Victor to represent a typical
human on the brink of curiosity-driven research. The foreshadowing tone
however, hints at the ‘downsides’ of scientific innovation that stem from the
potential misuse of science. Shelley uses this chapter to illustrate the essence
of scientific discover, yet all the while, still hinting that humans should limit
their compulsive desire for knowledge- if there are no boundaries, it could be
potentially disastrous, as we learn in the next chapter.
- Cruel human society- Shelley has illuminated the cruel state of society and
the harsh nature of human judgement. She does so through the transformation
of the monster. The once innocent soul is subjugated to the cold scrutiny of
humanity and as a repercussion becomes a murderous tyrant; a product of
his lack of social affiliation. The monsters kind nature is depicted through his
confrontational talk to Victor, where he details his miserable adventures. “…
but when I heard details of vice and bloodshed, my wonder ceased, and I
turned away with disgust and loathing” Shelley uses irony to illuminate the
monsters inevitable transformation. It is ironic that the monster is disgusted by
human acts of cruelty such as murder, yet upon exposure to social rejection he
himself commits the crimes he once loathed. His innocence is still portrayed
as he truly believes in social justice for himself. “I persuaded myself that
when they should become acquainted with my admiration of their virtues, they
would compassionate me and overlook my personal deformity” Shelley
highlights the monsters ignorance towards the cruel reality of society; she uses
first person narration, allowing the audience into the truly innocent mind of
the monster. Upon the finishing of his recount, the monster justifies his
actions, making Victor aware that they are a repercussion of being socially
excluded. “I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and
hated by all mankind?...shall I respect man when he condemns me?” Shelley
uses rhetoric question, allowing the audience to consider the monsters
questions and empathise with him. It gives us insight into the truly harsh
nature of society, the materialistic judgement we cast upon others. Shelley
uses the confrontational scene between Victor and the monster to portray the
cruel reality of society and the impact it can have on innocent beings.

6) What scene in Bladerunner provides a representation of the idea of a

corporatized, urbanised society? Explain some techniques used.
- Setting the scene – Following the introduction of Deckard and establishment
of the complication (the escaped replicants), Ridley uses panoramic long shots
to convey the corporatized, commercial dystopia which is L.A. 2019. The
mise-en-scene incorporates large advertisement billboards with ‘coke’ labels
which the audience can recognise and relate to, highlighting the
commercialistic elements of society. The colossal buildings crowd the fame
and eternal darkness is emphasised, the only light being the artificial lights of
the windows and advertising billboards. Vangelis’ non-diegetic music fades in
as Deckard ascends to the Tyrell Corporation. Low angle shots establish the
colossal size of the building and as the camera pans upwards, the majestic
music increased in volume, reiterating the divinity of the building. This is also
the only time in which non-artificial light is present. It is as if the Tyrell
Corporation have built their majestic ziggurat temple above the filth and
squalor of the material world which they rule over. The audience gains this
sense that the corporation has somewhat replaced religion, and in this sense
Scott highlights the corporate domination in the modern world. Close up shots
of Deckard focus on his facial expressions during ascent. He is a mixture of
wonder and confusion, how can a single company hold the air of a religion?
This is the modern day dystopia where companies and commercialisation fuel
consumerism and rule over society. Scott is foreshadowing the corporate
domination which was beginning to occur upon the 1980’s, a rapid increase in
consumerism and commercialism.

7) The central issue of both texts concerns the moral boundaries which should
inform creative or scientific endeavours. Do you agree? Illustrate with examples.
- A warning for curiosity driven research- Shelley uses her novel
Frankenstein to not only illuminate the cruel nature of society but also
highlight the dangers of our innate humanistic desire for knowledge. The
novel is Shelley exaggerating the potential consequences of science without
moral boundaries. Victor’s hubris is his thirst for knowledge without
acknowledgement of the consequences. It is important to understand the
meaning of the novels other name: The Modern Prometheus (intertextuality)
this is a myth based on the Greek god Prometheus who sties to steal the secret
of life from Zeus and as a result Zeus unleashes Pandora’s Box upon
humanity, this is paralleled to the unfortunate tale of Victor Frankenstein. It is
as if Shelley is using her novel as a vehicle to warn the masses of scientific
advancement without moral or ethical concerns. She is warning humanity
not to burn the book of life before they have read it. This warning is a
product of the historical context of Frankenstein, industrial revolution, rapid
scientific advancement. Shelley highlights the cruel nature of our society
through the monsters lament, and pleads that this cruel nature stops when it
comes to scientific research and creation. Emotional resistance must not be put
aside when endeavouring into uncharted scientific territory. It’s as if science is
Pandora's Box, and upon opening it we unleash all evil upon humanity- The
use of questioning internal narration by the monster conveys Shelley’s opinion
regarding sciences lack of moral and ethical boundaries. “Accursed creator!
Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in
disgust?”- As an audience we feel sympathy for the vary product of science
with no boundaries, and side with Shelley in deeming it ethically unsound.
The foreshadowing voice of Frankenstein to Waldon reinforces that
Frankenstein has learnt from his mistakes of unethical scientific exploration.
“Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me – let me reveal
my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips” AND “I ardently hope that
the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has
been…I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale”- Here
Frankenstein is addressing Waldon, attempting to convey his mistakes in a
hope that Waldon will learn from them. Waldon is somewhat society
personified, and in reading this Shelley aimed that the reader would also learn
from Frankenstein’s mistakes. We would gain insight into the flaw of
Frankenstein and opt to steer clear of it, his flaw; innate existentialism.
Metaphors are used to reiterate the humanistic desire to know the unknown;
this desire is portrayed as a cup of intoxicating liquid and a serpent. In doing
this, Shelley appropriately conveys her warning to society.
- What it means to be human- The film addresses the issues surrounding the
knowledge of ones artificiality and the ethical issues which spawn from this.
Scott highlights concerns surrounding the creation of artificial beings and their
developing emotions and desire for more life. Is it ethically sound to give them
prescribed life spans? Do they too deserve the basic right to life? All these
questions arise for the audience upon watching. Scott allows the viewer to
determine their own opinion, but ultimately the message is clear- society is in
an unjust state where everything is to the benefit of humankind and ethical
consideration is absent. Scott uses Blade Runner to illustrate a society where
the boundaries governing modern science today have dissolved and
corporations replace religion. Similarly to Shelley, Scott uses his text as a
vehicle of warning to the audience. Obviously the reality of Blade Runner is
distorted, but the underlying message stands clear- ethical and moral
boundaries must be enforced during curiosity driven research, we do not want
to unleash Pandora’s Box upon humanity, as has happened in L.A. 2019. In
the scene of Zhora’s death Scott effectively portrays the ‘downsides’ of
curiosity driven research, it is the pivotal moment when Deckard realises
the unethical motives surrounding his trade- is it considered murder or is it
just retirement? Why create something if you can’t for fill its needs? Is this
cruel? An artificial atmosphere is created, bustling diegetic noise of street
signs shouting repetitive robotic commands and sirens foreshadowing the
death that is about to come. Scott uses a shaky handheld camera to reiterate
mass confusion. As Deckard aims to shoot Zhora the diegetic sounds fade out
and slow smooth jazz saxophone fades in (film noir) contrasting to the death
that they audience are witnessing. All around are motifs representing
artificiality, the fake neon lights framing Zhora as she runs through the glass,
falling through an artificial snow machine. All these elements build up the fact
that she is artificial, yet the emotion the audience feels through the slow-
motion and non-diegetic music makes us empathise with her, her death seems
real, there is emotion despite her not being human. She is the product of
scientific creation without ethical consideration, and the emotion the audience
feels upon her death is a warning to what might be in store if boundaries are
disregarded. The close up on Deckard's face reiterate this notion, that it is
more than just ‘retirement’ it is murder of a ‘living’ thing. From here,
Deckard's view of the replicants is altered and he sees them as more human,
falling in love with Rachael. The use of derogatory colloquial jargon
throughout the script highlights the demeaning way in which replicants are
seen by society. “Walking skin jobs…retirement” They are just created to
serve, not to have emotions, yet by giving them emotions and memory
implants Tyrell has crossed the ethical boundaries.

8) Explain your attitude to the ideas of retribution and revenge in either

Frankenstein or Bladerunner.
- Revenge against society- in Bladerunner, Scott highlights the innate desire
for life; he conveys the effects of being denied this basic right. Initially, the
group of replicants, lead by Roy Batty, have returned to seek normalcy and
life. Yet upon the realisation that Tyrell cannot give him this, sheer rage
penetrates through Roy and in an act of revenge against his creator he gouges
out his eyes. This is symbolic as Roy is denying Tyrell ‘the windows to his
soul’ just as Tyrell has denied him life. Now the god-like master is reduced
to nothing without his eyes, and eyes are a recurring motif throughout the
film; representing insight and the ability to see from all aspects. It is important
to note that Tyrell can’t see from the replicants point of view when he has
eyes; he is still blind to the ethical dilemma he has spawned. Roy has
revenge against his maker, for making him the way he is, this is similar in
Frankenstein. Revenge is a theme Scott explores through the frustrated
dialogue in the conversation of Tyrell and Roy. “You were made as well as we
could make you…but not to last” Again, the issue of ethics arises; Roy has
pledged revenge against the unethical practice he has been spawned from.
This is effectively the same concept in the monsters revenge. “If I cannot
inspire love, I will cause fear, and chiefly towards you my arch-enemy,
because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred”- hatred towards the
beings for who has made them the way they are.

9) Why is the technique of imagery/symbolism so relevant to an understanding of

the context and values represented in the two texts? Provide specific evidence.
- Why symbolism? – Shelley has used symbolism as an effective tool to
convey the issues she wished to highlight; industrialisation, scientific
progression, moral boundaries. She uses it to achieve emotional response
from the reader when we realise the symbolism is addressing our person and
lifestyle. Shelley creates Victor as an extended metaphor of society without
moral or ethical boundaries. As an audience we see what could eventuate is
scientific and creative exploration is preformed without acknowledgement of
the consequences. The monster is symbolic of an innocent being, at first
ignorant to the cruel nature of society. In this sense, Shelley is able to explore
social values present in the context of 1818. Shelley can give the audience an
omniscience perspective on the harsh tendencies surrounding humanity, then
the audience realises they are actually in fact part of this cruel entity- they are
potentially the flawed protagonist; Victor Frankenstein. The symbolic motif of
eyes is representative of sight, something which is limited within man. Yet
Shelley addresses the issue that we cannot ‘see’ everything, we must
accept our limitations rather than forcing open Pandora’s Box in an attempt
to acquire infinite knowledge. Relevant in the context of 1818.

- Why symbolism? – Similarly to Shelley, Scott has harnessed this technique to
effectively portray the commercial dystopian future our society could
eventually become. The issue of artificiality is explored through Scott’s use of
symbols reiterating the fine line between what’s real and what’s not, in this
sense he is commenting on the artificial technological age that was dawning
on the people of the 1980’s. The owl in Tyrell’s office is symbolic of wisdom
and insightfulness; it is ironic that this majestic wise creature is in actual fact
artificial. This is representative of the replicants ‘realness’, their wisdom
and humanistic desire for life, despite their artificiality. Scott uses
symbolism to also shed light on Tyrell’s grasp of humanity and the replicants;
we gain insight into the powerful clutches of Tyrell and the manipulative ways
in which he morphs those around him, and ultimately, society. The mythical
symbolism in Deckard's dream when he envisions a unicorn running through
the forest (the only bit of natural environment we see during the whole film)
reiterates the issue of what is real and what is not. The unicorn represents
all things beautiful and out of reach, the fact that it is a unicorn hints that it is
not real, this can be paralleled to Rachael; beautiful, mythical, out of reach, is
she real or not? Is it possible for Deckard to fall in love with something he
deems so artificial? The symbolism of the unicorn reiterates this issue. Eye
motifs are laced throughout the entire film, adding to the concept of sight and
‘the windows to the soul’. The advertising screens in the establishing shots of
L.A. 2019 allow Scott to highlight the consumerist society in the film AND in
the 1980’s.

10) Literary and biblical allusions are techniques common in both texts. Identify
examples from both texts and explain their significance.
- ‘Mutability’ by Percy Shelley – Mary Shelley references Percy Shelley's
poem in volume 2 chapter 2. The poem is reflective of life’s constant changes,
it emphasises the fact that the only constant in life is change. Nothing is
permanent, what is true and obvious today is wrong and inappropriate
tomorrow. Shelley included this extract to illuminate the concept of mans
flawed design, that an informed decision one day can transform into an
irrepressible nightmare the next. This is representative of Victor’s decision
to create the monster; an act that seemed so plausible at the time
manifested itself into the key to his demise.
- ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton – Shelley makes reference to Milton’s
Paradise Lost (an epic poem written in the 17th century, comprised into 10
books) on the front cover of her original edition. The poems explore the fall of
man, the temptation of Adam and Eve, their expulsion from the Garden of
Eden and many other topics like fate, destiny and Satan. In the first book,
Milton states the poem’s intention was to “justify the ways of god to men”.
Shelley uses this concept, but her novel is more to justify the ways of men
to men. She similarly explore the fall of man, mans innate flaw of curiosity;
fuelling Eve to eat the apple AND Victor to create the monster- both acts lead
to the individuals fall from grace and their new hollow existence. “Did I ask
thee maker from my clay/ To mould me man?” Here Adam is questioning his
God (maker) about his existence. In Chapter 15 the monster reads paradise
lost and is apparently enlightened to draw parallels with him and Adam, yet
also finds distinct differences which lead to the monsters utter self loathing.
“Like Adam, I was apparently united by no link to any other being of
existence: but his state was far different from mine in every respect. He had
come forth from God’s hands a perfect creature, happy and prosperous,
guided by the especial care of his creator…but I was wretched, helpless and
alone.” Shelley uses this literary allusion to allow readers a three dimensional
aspect at the issues she is attempting to address; the fall of man, curiosity as a
sin, the innocence of the created against his creator.
- ‘Prometheus’ Greek myth – Shelley assumed her readers were aware of the
promethean myth, and in this sense she has used intertextuality to emphasise
her concerning issues, these are the fall of man as a result of his flaws and the
recurring theme of Pandora’s Box. “Frightful must it be; for supremely
frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the
stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world”- Shelley's statement of
origin and themes in the introduction reiterates the promethean mythical
aspects to her story.

Literary Allusion
- “America: A Prophecy” By William Blake – “Fiery the angels fell: deep
thunder rolled around their shores, burning with the fires of Orc”- Scott uses
intertextuality by referencing this poem; it expresses the conflict of the
Americans towards the oppressive British and condones the freedom of
individuals to stand up for their rights. It was written in 1793 as part of the
Romantic period. This reference reiterates the Replicant’s desire for the basic
right to life. It is recited from Roy to the eye maker, who has been part of the
design process, he has given them sight and now with that sight they can
see what they want; more life.
Biblical Allusion
- “You’re the prodigal son. You’re quite a prize”- This is when the god-like
figure of Tyrell is addressing Roy, drawing parallels with him and Adam,
sheer creative perfection. This also draws reference to ‘Paradise Lost’ when
Adam confronts God about his creation (see above). This line reinforces the
god-like manner in which Tyrell holds himself; this is reiterated through the
setting, lighting, furniture and atmosphere.
Christian Allusion
- Zhora as Christ when shot – When Zhora is running through the glass panels
after being shot by Deckard, her arms are outstretched; resembling Christ on
the cross. This biblical allusion allows us to draw comparisons to the
replicants and Christ, who sacrifices himself for the good of society- this is
something which Roy later does in saving Deckard.
- Stigmata of Roy – In the final standoff between Deckard and Roy, as Roy is
beginning to die (life expectancy 4 years) he thrusts a nail through his hand to
see if he can feel the pains of life. This can be interpreted as an act of the
pains of life, the cruel nature of humanity; piercing pain. It is also
comparing Roy to Christ, who sacrifices his life for the good of society, and
Roy similarly does so by saving Deckard. He sees it necessary to the
continuation of human kind even if it means giving up his short life. A sense
of peace descends upon Roy as he comes to terms with his imminent death,
just like Christ.

11) Choose one value e.g. nature, family, friendship, compassion, love and
explain how it is conveyed in the texts.
- Nature as the sublime- Shelley uses Romanticism to heighten the
appreciation of nature and convey the sublime emotion that the environment
generates. Romanticism was a backlash at the mechanic tendencies of classical
writing and a reflection of society during the time of the industrial revolution.
The insignificance of man against the natural environment, how it can have
serious effect over individuals, impact on Victor’s mood- “sought the
magnificence, the eternity of these scenes, to forget myself and my ephemeral,
because human, sorrows” Shelley also uses pathetic fallacy to foreshadow the
tone of the narrative. This also reiterates the divinity of nature and its
importance. Shelley portrays nature as being this sublime force which can
cure all ills. This is another way of evoking the values of the promethean
myth and ‘paradise lost’, that man is insignificant in the presence of god. The
majestic portrayal of nature is just demonstrating the truly colossal forces of
god and nature alike. With sensory imagery, Shelley evokes the greatest sense
of awe in relation to nature. “…rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose
white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, a belonging to
another earth, the habitations of another race of beings” We, see how truly
insignificant Victor is juxtaposed against nature. This promotes the reader to
identify Victor’s flaw, him trying to challenge the role of god and nature by
creating something which neither condone. As a result, harsh consequences
descend upon the life of Victor; this is somewhat similar to traditional Greek
tragedy- emotionally warning the audience not to defy the gods.
- Nature representing the unknown- Shelley uses the environment to shed
light on all things unknown to man in this world; this is expressed through
Waldon’s exploration of the Arctic. Shelley subverts traditional novel
structure by including four letters to set up Victor’s second narration. These
letters highlight the divine elements of nature as Waldon recounts his
experiences navigating uncharted waters. Waldon’s conversational tone in the
letters is intended for his sister, yet as a reader it feels as though he were
addressing us. This implies his humanistic qualities, reinforcing the fact that
he is only one small human amongst the colossal and sublime forces of nature.
- Reality of extinguishing nature- Scott has created a commercial dystopia
where it is eternally dark and persistent rain falls forever. By generating an
atmosphere without any traces of nature, Scott highlights the scary
possibility of wiping out the natural environment with urban expansion.
This is a relevant theme in the context of the movie; the 1980’s. Bladerunner
stresses the aesthetic and environmental necessity of the natural world. It is
important to note that in the entire duration of the film, the only slice of
natural environment viewed is in Deckard’s dream. In the future, will the
natural world only be present in our dreams? It’s as if Scott uses his film to
foreshadow the potential extinction of the natural world due to
consumerism, globalisation, industrialisation, commercialism.
- What is real, what is not? – All the elements of nature in L.A. 2019 are in
actual fact artificial. The owl, snake (symbolic). In this sense Scott uses
animal representation to convey the question of what is real. In a world
where an artificial human can feel pain and love, when are our definitions
of real? The natural world, one of the original real elements created with this
planet, and that has been depreciated to nothing in the future of L.A. 2019.
This contrasts what has lived and died (the natural world) and what now
resides in its place, artificial nature. Even in Deckard’s dream, the only shot
where we see the natural world, a unicorn runs through the shot; a mythical
creature, something the audience knows is not real- this is symbolic of the
constant artificiality which even resides in the modern day natural world-
Scott is commenting that contextually (1980’s) nothing is our of the grasps of
the artificial, it is seeping into and replacing the natural world gradually. This
concept is reiterate through the replicants, the can be seen as a
representation of this artificial takeover in the modern world- slowly
replacing all things we deem ‘real’.

12) Who is the ultimate monster/villain in the texts studies?

- Victor, as a representation of society without moral consideration- Shelley
has used the characterisation of Victor to create a personified representation of
society with no ethical boundaries. Historical context, industrial revolution,
scientific progression, uncharted exploration. Shelley uses her portrayal of
society as the villain to warn the audience about what our humanity is capable
of. The name ‘villain’ has long been associated with the monster; however he
is aptly characterised as an innocent creature; ignorant of the cruel nature of
society. “I longed to join them, but dared not. I remembered too well the
treatment I had suffered the night before”. His villainous tendencies and
actions are the product of social rejection and the absence of acceptance
and love. In his confusion, Shelley writes his questioning narrative to present
the audience with the ideas of the monster, his internal confusion regarding his
identity. We see that his ‘villainous’ label is incorrectly placed. “My person
was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What
was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? All these questions
continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them” The repetition of
questions highlights the ignorant nature of the monster, expelling any previous
‘villain’ label the audience has associated him with. The label of villain only
comes about in reference to the monster after he has been exposed to the
‘villainous’ tendencies of nature, his evil actions are a repercussion of
societies evil ways.

- Tyrell, as a representation of corporate domination- Scott is addressing the
issue of the corporatisation, commercialism, urbanisation in the modern era
(1980’s). He portrays the stereotypical villain (Roy) to be a product of the real
villain, Tyrell (the corporate society). In this sense Scott is illuminating his
opinion regarding the globally expanding society of the modern era. Do we
really want to exist in a world where the people who run our society are
introverted antisocial masterminds, leveraging themselves to the status
similar to god himself? These people are the actual villains, the ones who
have no regards for emotional wellbeing, who don’t take the consequences
into consideration. In some what, Tyrell is also a representation of flawed
man, he is everything society could potentially become, and Scott is warning
us against this. With use of biblical references, Scott accurately coveys the
height in which corporatisation exists today, it is parallel to such a strong force
as religion. It dominates society and dictates life for the majority while
enjoying the benefits. The God-like dialogue of Tyrell reiterates this idea “the
light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so
very very brightly boy” His prophetic eloquence is juxtaposed against his
scrawny appearance, not god-like at all. This is representative of the
actually humanness within corporations, in reality it’s just another human
which is at the top, no prophet or god. The villain in this narrative is in actual
fact, society itself. It is the reason for the environmental extinguishment,
permanent darkness, eternal rain, commercialism and ultimately Roy’s sadistic
nature towards mankind. We are in fact the villains, our way of life is
represented to be the most ‘villainous’ aspect of the movie. Just like the
monster, Roy’s actions are a product of social rejection and lack of affiliation;
it’s his way of getting back at the villainous society which shuts him out.

13) To what extent is dialogue an effective technique in both texts?

- To express character relationships- Shelley, as with many other novel
writers uses dialogue to effectively express the relationships and personal
nuances the characters have with one another. The tone of the dialogue
reinforces what the audience already know about a character. Victor, for
example, communicates delicately with Elizabeth (showing his love and
respect for her); their conversations are compassionate and filled with tones of
mutual respect. Juxtaposed against this is the hateful dialogue which Victor
shouts at his monster in spite. This shows his dysfunctional relationship with
the monster, his denial and self loathing associated with the monster. The
monsters replies are ambivalent to the character Victor has lead the
audience to believe. All this time Victor has been describing the monster as a
devil and soulless corpse. This perception is dashed once the monster opens
his mouth. “Be calm! I intreat you to hear me, before you vent your hatred on
my devoted head. Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my
misery?...I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel…make me
happy”- the biblical allusion in his words reiterates Shelley's use of
intertextuality; Paradise Lost, shedding light on the fall of man. Rhetorical
question also reinforces the hardship the monster has been through,
foreshadowing the sad tale which he is about to recount. The audience
suddenly feels compassion and mercy for the monster, which has been
unjustly subjugated to the cruel nature of society. Shelley does so to
reiterate the large issues within her novel, the cruel nature of society, our
obsession with the physical appearance and our potential lack of morals
in scientific creation. Our initial fascination with Victor dissipates to
frustration as he continues to dismiss the monster “Begone, begone! I will not
hear you. There can be no community between you and me; we are enemies.
Begone!” The repetition of ‘begone’ reinforces Victors attempt to ignore
his creation, his denial of their inevitable bind. However dialogue is more
impacting I believe in Bladerunner, it holds more philosophical weight and
can be used more easily in understanding the nature of the film. Due to their
differing text mediums, Shelley has access to the kind of description Scott
doesn’t, therefore I believe in her Novel, Shelley uses dialogue effectively yet
it is not the main tool in portraying the desired themes- I believe descriptive
language and first person narration are more effective in this respect.

- To reiterate the underlying themes, give personal voice- Scott uses
dialogue as an effective tool to convey the feelings of all the characters and
their responses to one another. In the movie there are particular lines which
embody the key concepts entirely. The dialogue of Roy is, in my opinion, the
most important as it shows his longing for life and eventual acceptance of
death. “I've seen things you people wouldn’t even believe. Attacked ships on
fire off the shoulder of Orion…all those moments will be lost in time, like
tears in rain. Time to die” Roy’s use of simile gives the audience insight into
his final emotions before his peaceful acceptance of death.
- “Can the maker repair what he makes?”/ “would you like to be modified?”/
“I had in mind something a little more radical” – this is the confrontational
opening lines between Tyrell and Roy. Here the ethical ideas arise about the
creation of artificial life without ethical considerations or boundaries. “You
were made as well as we could make you…but not to last”- in this stream of
dialogue the term ‘make’ reoccurs throughout the scene, reiterating the fact
that despite his natural emotions and yearn for life, Roy is in fact artificial, he
has been ‘made’.
- “Do you remember the spider that lived in the bush outside your
window?...watched her build a web all summer. Then one day there was a
big egg in it, the egg hatched”/ “the egg hatched and a hundred baby
spiders came out, and they ate her” – This conversation between Rachael and
Deckard is the pivotal moment where Rachael realises she is a replicant. [close
up shot of face, slow melodic piano, reinforces agony and pain of her
discovery] Scott uses the extended metaphor of the spider to represent Tyrell
and his creations. This is foreshadowing Roy’s act of murder against Tyrell.
This extract also establishes Rachael’s innocence to the harsh reality of her
maker, the cruel corporation from which she has been a part of.