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Are the creatures in Frankenstein and Blade Runner more “monster” or more “human”

Both the movie Blade Runner and the novel Frankenstein clearly address the difference between monster and man. The composers of both texts portray an emotional awareness that to some extent demonstrates more humane natures in the replicas and the monsters. These creatures are brought out as more empathetic and humane than the real humans. In Blade Runner, we are met by replicas that show themselves as equal to humans if not their superiors. Throughout the film, they are portrayed as creatures exhibiting compassion and humanity that is scarcely displayed by the humans (Ford and Scott). Similarly in Frankenstein, Mary Shelly brings a totally different aspect of the monster. The monster shows better and even more humane qualities than the humans themselves. The “monster”, as it is referred to in the novel, is made of human parts speaks so fluently. The same monster gives a touching story of his existence in the world that had been only inhospitable and cruel. Mary portrays the creature to have a very tight attachment to its emotional side especially in thoughts before committing suicide. The creature even has a vengeful heart and kills those his creator cares for to get back at him. The creatures in Frankenstein and Blade Runner are more human because; their appearance is like that of humans, secondly, they attach great importance to socializing just like humans do, and they have emotions like normal humans.

 

Looking at appearance, in Scott’s Blade Runner, the replicas look so much like humans that the slogan, “More human than human” is used by the company that made them (Ford and Scott 72). The replicas are so similar in appearance to humans that they even look more perfect than the humans themselves. It is this close similarity to humans in appearance that drives the replicas to have the urge to have at least equal treatment with the humans. In Blade Runner, the creatures come back from the slave colonies in search for equality with the humans who they believe look similar. In the first part of the film, we learn of a replica that is killed by Deckard. The replica is ‘very beautiful’ and is also a dancer. These qualities are similar to those of a human both in terms of the beauty and the fact that she was a dancer. In fact, many humans in the film look deformed or physically abnormal for example Sebastion has “accelerated decrepitude” (Shelley 78). Only the replicas appear to be like perfect humans. This goes a long way to show how the creatures are more human than monsters. As for Frankenstein, Frankenstein wanted to create a creature that was similar to him. According to him, “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful… (Shelley 46)” The creature did not exactly turn out as beautiful, but he was close to a human and had the ability that matched and even superseded that of humans. The deformity notwithstanding, the creature is more human than monster. Thus, the creatures in these two pieces of art are evidently more human in nature than monsters.

In both these texts, the creatures show interest in socializing which make them appear to be more human than monsters. They portray importance to having links to a family like the humans. In Frankenstein, the monster expresses his loneliness brought about by the lack of society to accept him. He is angered by the way in which the society disregards his presence and is even disgusted by him. In his words, “Even my creator looks at me with disgust” (Shelley 92). The great urge to socialize in the “monster” lead him to kill all his creator’s close friends. The denial of companionship of the monster makes him vengeful. The social nature within him makes him get back at his creator for denying him the chance to socialize. In Blade Runner as well, a great sense of togetherness is shown where the replicas tend to stick together after witnessing the death of their loved one. Zhora, Roy, Leon, and Pris are a group of replicas who coexist as a family. After the death of Zhora, Leon goes on a murderous rampage attempting to kill Deckard (Faqs.org). This also happens with Pris when Roy is killed. This is the same behavior that is portrayed by humans when they are denied the right deny right of association. Deckard is seen deep in thought, “How deeply I love this foreign girl” (Ford and Scott 91). This shows the great connection between the creatures and their inner side that makes more human than monsters.

The creatures are also seen to be highly emotional. In both the film and the novel, the creatures portray instances when they show great emotions even at times amplifying their human nature to exceed that of humans. In Frankenstein, there is an instant where the monster had become too emotionally attached to a family that he tried to befriend. The creature had been too attached to the family that he thought they could accept him (Literature.org). The monster is later faced with rage issues after suffering rejection from the family. He even declares revenge against the family for rejecting him in a bid to show them how they made him suffer. This shows that the creature has some emotions that tickle the urge to be loved and accepted like other humans. Further, the creature comes across a girl who had slipped and tumbled into a river. The creature rushes and rescues the girl from drowning. This shows strong emotions in the creature that compelled him to save a human who was in need even with all the rage he had towards humanity for rejecting him. The creature’s emotions are further agitated when a man did not understand that he was trying to save the girl and instead fires at him thinking he was trying to kill the girl. Here the creature is seen to run towards the man and the girl to try explaining but that only ends up killing his spirits further. He exclaims, “This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and, as recompense, I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound, which shattered the flesh and bone… Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.” (Shelley 126). Similarly in Blade Runner, we are met by a Roy Batty, who saves the life of Deckard in the final battle. Roy grabs the hand of Deckard and pulls him up to safety just when he lost grip and was about to plunge to his death. This part shows how the Roy the creature has humane emotions and could not let Deckard fall to his death. After Roy’s death Deckard is left contemplating, “I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life – anybody’s life; my life. All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.” (Ford and Scott 120). These events in the different pieces show the creatures are more human than monsters.

In conclusion, we have seen the proximity between the creatures and humans and the creatures. Their acts in most of the instances prove them to be more of humans than the monsters they are taken to be. In some of the cases, the creatures are seen to portray more humane actions even than the real humans. Eventually, we are left wondering the difference between a human and a monster in both Frankenstein and Blade Runner and if these “monsters” were called so rightfully.

Works cited

Bukatman, Scott. Blade Runner. London: British Film Institute, 1997. Print.

Faqs.org,. ‘BLADE RUNNER Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)’. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Jan.      2015.

Ford, Harrison, and Ridley Scott. Blade Runner. [Burbank, Calif.]: Warner Bros., 1982. Print.

Literature.org,. ‘Literature.Org – The Online Literature Library’. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia    Library, 1996. Print.

 

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