Although the comparative study of texts in time offers insight into humanity’s changing values, it is the portrayal of common, contextually resonating concerns which continue to engage us timelessly. Despite their divergent media and compositional milieus, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818) and Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1982) share ongoing anxieties regarding unrestricted technological growth and social decay. By examining these texts together as social commentaries which are shaped by their Regency and contemporary contexts, we come to a heightened understanding of human nature and its flaws.
When considered together with Blade Runner, Shelley’s early 19thC novel Frankenstein reveals ongoing social…show more content… However, the darkly filtered panoramic shot of the futuristic Los Angeles as a hellish megalopolis scattered with fire-erupting towers further critiques the grim impact of industry on the natural world. It accentuates the 19thC Romantic ideologies that elevate nature as a healing force in Shelley’s Frankenstein to ease Victor’s “painful state of mind”, as peaceful imagery is created as he ventures “into the Alps” following the news of William’s death. Such a connection highlights nature’s capacity to provide spiritual renewal, without which society is plunged into a dystopian state. This is seen through the use of colossal corporate edifices as props that dominate the mis-en-scene and accentuate Scott’s condemnation of a Reagonomic society where “commerce is the goal”. They ultimately advocate the importance of nature that Romantics from Shelley’s context so strongly valued, allowing Scott to hence mark contemporary society as a hyper-industrialised institution saturated with corporate ideologies.
Acting as a cautionary tale against humanity’s materialistic desires, Frankenstein confirms that texts are shaped by their contexts as it conveys the deterioration of traditional social structure due to the 19thC Industrial Revolution. Shelley vilifies the decline of