Inability to control/Knowledge: The aspect of man’s inability to control his creation is influenced by his quest for greater knowledge. In Shelley’s Frankenstein, biblical references and archaic language are used to heighten the severity of transcendental undertones; “thou hast made me more powerful than thyself…I will be mild and docile to my natural lord and king. ” This alludes to Victor as the divine creator and questions his motives in his attempt to conceive life. Victor has lost power over his creation, which contradicts Christian dictum. This implies the unquestionable, all-knowing Creator should be superior to his creation.
This is Victor’s failure, as he loses dominance over the Monster, suggesting the prophetic destruction of mankind. This is exemplified by the Monster’s command, “You are my creator, but I am your master- obey! ” A similar notion can be seen in Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ with the chess match between Tyrell and Sebastian. While Tyrell utilises the black pieces, the Replicants, Roy and Sebastian, are represented by the white. This is symbolic of the fight of good- against- evil while the recreation of a game during the nineteenth-century sees the Replicants surpass the humans.
The loss of control from the maker in this chess game is a metaphor for life and is accentuated by a close-up shot of Tyrell with the chess pieces in the foreground, exposing his vulnerability at the hands of the Replicants. This also raises the ethical quandary of man playing God, and Ridley Scott questions man’s over-ambitious nature and arrogance to the consequences. Tyrell’s separation from his ‘off-spring’ is criticised by Roy, “It’s not an easy thing to meet your maker”, heightened by an over-the-shoulder camera shot to further separate the “prodigal son” from his patriarch.
The love from the father figure is the aspect that Roy and the Monster crave for; instead they are rejected by their makers. This is a catalyst for the destruction they cause, highlighting the creator’s irresponsibility in the quest for greater knowledge and scientific discovery. The quest for knowledge is underpinned by thoughts and experiences that determine one’s attitude to progress. A facet that highlights this is Tabula Rasa, in that an individual’s knowledge comes from experience and perception. In Frankenstein, the quality of nature and experience appeals to he five senses the Monster has yet to experience. Consequently, he struggles to understand his existence and the responder can feel the rawness of his being; “I felt light, and hunger, and thirst, and darkness…various scents saluted me. ” The alliteration of ‘scents saluted’ and the repetition of ‘and’ heightens the profound discovery of the Monster’s human qualities. The senses underline the notion that he started his life without pre-determined mental content, indicating that experience is the key to his existence.
This point is highlighted by Victor; “whose existence depended on the life of the creator” whereby he confirms the Monster’s need for consummation with a “creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself. ” Linking statement- This is furthered in ‘Blade Runner’ with the off-world colony; “the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. ” This raises the fact that the humans have annihilated all hope of coexistence on Earth and so society must reform to exist. In converse fashion, Pris communicates what her existence is a result of; “I think Sebastian, therefore I am”.
The use of Descartes quotation underpins the essence of existence; to seek the knowledge of their expiry date. This requires the ability to think and express emotions as a means of carving experiences. Ridley uses a close-up shot of Pris and Roy huddled together and to the side of the screen to highlight not only their vulnerability, but their unity as a couple. The deference between the skin tones of Pris in the white makeup and Roy cast in the shadow proves that, although they are replicas of human beings, they are corporal beings capable of human instincts, thought and emotions; “We’re not computers Sebastian, we’re physical”.
Religion: This notion can be furthered by analysing the allegorical relationship of the texts with Christianity. The scene with Roy and Sebastian in the elevator represents the ascent to heaven to face God; embodied by Tyrell. He is portrayed as a false god; a god of science, whereby this aspect defies the boundaries of moral Christian beliefs and so he is a deity in his own right. The strobe in the elevator as Roy is descending is chaotic, raising the aspect of his fall from heaven now that he has committed the ultimate sin.
Zhora’s gunshot wounds are on both shoulder blades, a close up shot of her back associating her with a fallen angel whose wings have been cut off. It is only when Roy weeps over Pris that we see the emotional output that makes the responder pity him. This is later emphasised by Roy shoving the nail through his palm, a symbol of the sacrifice he made for losing Pris and rescuing Deckard; exemplified by an extreme close-up of his hand as he lifts him to safety. His final act is dying, releasing the dove into the sky and representing his soul ascending to the heavens.
Scott reinforces religion in the film as its absence since the Enlightenment has left the world a hellish landscape with mass production and consumption. The influence of religion is similarly present in Frankenstein, however it is more of a rebellious nature against the ideals of Christianity, as the move into the Enlightenment Era signalled developments into science and free-thought. The notions of Christianity are still present however, as exemplified in the line; “Satan…fitter emblem of my condition…the bitter gall of envy rose within me. The Monster’s referral to himself as Satan is an upheaval from the classical ideals of early Christianity as he was able to form his own moral code judging from others, instead of morality being ‘inborn’ into him. He is a victim of post-Enlightenment pessimism as the cruel rejection by his natural fellows drives him to fury and revenge; “as recompense…I writhed under miserable pain. ” The responder can attribute the cause of his malevolence to the creator; Frankenstein. He is represented by Adam who is ultimately banished from the Garden of Eden for sinning in the Old Testament.
His sons, Cain and Abel, embody the split nature of the Monster. Like Cain he is shunned and cast off by humanity and like Abel he is the victim of desire; separation from God and the dangerous pursuit of knowledge. Nature vs. Science: 1- The concept of the sublime is present in terms of nature and the mechanics of recreating the human physiology. In Frankenstein, the Monster’s hideous being is juxtaposed against the magnificence of the wilderness; “Skirted by a deep and rapid river…trees bent their branches, now budding with the fresh spring. The assonance of the ‘s’ sound highlights the Monster’s profound connection with the location, emphasised by the alliteration of ‘rapid river’. This love for nature is crucial for the Monster in developing awareness of his surroundings and interpreting the extent of his physical being; “forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy. ” Likewise, the camera zoom into the Tyrell Corporation building in ‘Blade Runner’ underlines the transcendent and magnificent nature of the pyramid, yet it ironically lacks in all natural qualities.
The impressive spot lights on top symbolise the divine aspect of the building with the light reaching down from the heavens. The viewer’s eye is drawn to it by the vectors of using the line of lifts n the centre. 2- An aspect that resounds through both compositions is mankind’s inability to see the consequences of his actions. In Frankenstein, there is the recurring motif of the eyeballs; “my eyeballs were starting from their sockets” which exposes his dilemma: the more he immersed himself in his study, the less he could see the consequences.
This is revealed when he reflects on the destruction he caused to himself, his friends and family; “my eyes were insensible to the charms of nature. ” Correspondingly, an allusion to the Eye of Providence in ‘Blade Runner’ can be interpreted as an ironic metaphor for the blindness of mankind. An extreme close-up of an eye in the opening scene reflects the city-scape; the lights of high-rise and the flames of industry. This gives an insight into the way of the contextual issues of that society; immense population, corruption and the influence of mass globalization.
The latter can be seen with the giant Coca-Cola and TDK signs representing the influence of corporatisation and its effect on global consumerism. An additional fact to be taken from it is the sense of the omniscient eye, an effect created to enhance the dystopian, Orwellian notion of Big Brother and its effect on the populace. The dystopian outlook is further enhanced in relation to eyes, with Wu and the eye shop and Tyrell’s owl’s eyes. Roy murdering Tyrell through the eyes is symbolic of the vengeance the created unleashes unto his maker.