Mary Shelley's Novel' Frankenstein' and Ridley Scott's Movie 'Blade Runner': A Comparative Analysis
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Both Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein and the Ridley Scott's 1982 movie Blade Runner depict a bleak future about the fallen dreams of science. Blade Runner is based on a novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. Although Frankenstein was written a century and a half before Dick's book, the two stories share a similar dystopic vision of humanity's future. They also use similarly structured storytelling to explain the impetus towards self-mastery and mastery over the universe. Shelley depicts a doctor and mad scientist who creates a "modern Prometheus," referring to the Greek Titan who steals fire from the gods in order to bestow the gift to humanity. The symbolism of Shelley's subtitle "modern Prometheus" sets the stage for the novel's thematic development. Frankenstein's "monster" commits acts of sacrifice just as the Titan does in Greek mythology. Like Prometheus, Frankenstein's creation becomes a thorn in the side of the creator. The creator punishes the creation by completely isolating him from humanity, causing tremendous suffering due to social isolation. Shelley's theme is replicated again and again in science fiction literature, taking various forms as a story of a creator abandoning his or her creation. Blade Runner is one of those science fiction stories that draws from Frankenstein's message of the poignant existential suffering that comes from being alienated socially and spiritually.
In Blade Runner, a corporation plays the role