Yr 12 Eng Adv

English Advanced: Module A (Texts Through Time) – Practice Essay

Whilst texts may be fictitious constructs of composers’ imaginations, they also explore and address the societal issues and paradigms of their eras. This is clearly the case with Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein (1818), which draws upon the rise of Galvanism and the Romantic Movement of the 1800’s, as well as Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (1992), reflecting upon the increasing computing industry and the predominance of capitalism within the late 20th Century. Hence, an analysis of both in light of their differing contexts reveal how Shelley and Scott ultimately warn us of the dire consequences of our desire for omnipotence and unrestrained scientific progress, concepts which link the two texts throughout time.

Composed in a time of major scientific developments, including Galvani’s concept of electricity as a reanimating force, Shelley’s Frankenstein utilises the creative arrogance of the Romantic imagination to fashion a Gothic world in which the protagonist’s usurpation of the divine privilege of creation has derailed the conventional lines of authority and responsibility. Her warning of the dangers of such actions is encapsulated within Victor’s retrospective words of “how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge”, whilst Shelley’s use of a fragmented epistolatory narrative adds a disturbing sense of truth, foreshadowing the dark consequences of Frankenstein’s actions. Moreover,

wherein the daemon’s association with “the fallen angel” exacerbates the effects of Victor’s rejection. including the growth of capitalism . directly questioning the scientists of her era. by drawing upon elements of his context. through the symbolic dominance of Tyrell’s towering ziggurat. including his voluminous bed. modeled after that of Pope John Paul II. hence linking the two texts throughout time. Together with its questioning of how Victor could “sport with life”. “greed is good”. Tyrell’s egocentric nature is epitomised within the religious connotations of his abode. a representation of a bleak future dominated by commercial dominance. including evolutionary theorist Erasmus Darwin.Yr 12 Eng Adv her allusions to John Milton’s Paradise Lost evoke the poetic retelling of Satan’s fall from grace. where the director echoes the rise of capitalist ideals and the Wall Street mantra. to reinforce the dangers of our humanity’s inherent yearning to play the role of the Creator. Scott’s warning of the dangers of such a desire is also evident within the expansive shots of 2019 LA. a reflection of both his desire for omnipotence and commercial power. as well as his reference to Batty as “the prodigal son”. Hence. revealing a dark and tenebrous world lit by the glow of corporate advertisements. Shelley’s warning reverberates past the page. Such symbols are unnervingly subverted through both the foreboding Chiarscuro of flickering candle-light with shadow and his violent death at the hands of his own creation. Such a warning also exists within Scott’s Blade Runner. ultimately transforming its “benevolent nature” into a thirst for retribution.

where Victor’s “insensibility to its charms”. results in his “deep. as her criticisms of the Age of Reason and Industrial Revolution reflect their denigration of rationality. Blade Runner is no different. the monster possesses greater “benevolence” and a more intimate connection with “the pleasant showers and genial warmth of spring”.Yr 12 Eng Adv and the ‘trickle-down theory’ of Reagan’s era. whilst Victor’s warning of Walton to “avoid ambitions of science and discoveries” encapsulates Shelley’s vilification of contributors to the Industrial Revolution. Conversely. dark and deathlike solitude”. including renowned inventor James Watt. In addition. arising from his immersion in science. with Scott’s reflection of the explosion of technological progress during the 1980’s. The imagery of the “dead corpse” and repetitious use of “horror” upon the creation of the “miserable monster” establish a strong aura of death and despair around this scientific advancement. cautioning us against the dehumanising effect of unrestrained scientific advancement. including the rise of computing . Shelley stresses her warning through the protagonists’ connections with nature. Moreover. where Frankenstein further demonstrates the Romantic Movement’s influence on Shelley’s mindset. with the heavy alliteration exemplifying his degraded sense of humanity. Scott positions us to reassess the consequences of overstepping our boundaries. with such characterisation capturing Shelley’s reflection of Romanticism’s idolisation of nature. both texts’ warnings also encompass the dangers of unrestrained scientific progress.

the stylistic placement of the transparent poncho places further emphasises the violence of her death.Yr 12 Eng Adv giants IBM and Microsoft. together with the haunting synthetic pulses of the Vangelis soundtrack. is similarly employed to highlight the destruction of mankind due to technology. with slow-motion low angle shot conveying her heightened sense of humanity within her last painful moments. Deckard’s emotionless features. establishes a festering miasma of technological overload. Scott illuminates us to the dehumanising effects of such progress. In contrast. Indeed. Frankenstein and Blade Runner. as they draw upon the societal concerns of their times in order to warn us of the consequences of overstepping our boundaries and unbridled technological advancement. whilst different to Shelley’s Romantic values. Here. warns us of the dire consequences of unchecked scientific progress. Most notable is the opening panoramic shot of blazing smokestacks which. we can see how both Shelley and Scott reflect their zeitgeists in their texts. foregrounded through Deckard’s “retiring” of the Replicant Zhora. Moreover. which. suggests that our artificial creations will ultimately lead to the dehumanising of mankind. highlighting the dangers of such unrestrained progress. Thus. Subsequently. together with the monotonous drone of the droid. it becomes evident that despite their temporal and contextual . this portrayal of a decaying environment reflects the growing ecological awareness of the 1980’s. adding further semiotic weight to the film’s nightmarish dystopian agenda. undermining our humanist framework and hence.

both texts are in fact linked through their common concerns and concepts. 923 words .Yr 12 Eng Adv differences.

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