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Exploring The Depiction Of Humanity And Nature's Relationship In Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" And Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner". Australia Hsc Essay.

1287 words - 5 pages

Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner":The Director's Cut, despite their very different cultural contexts, depict futuristic societies where the relationship between humanity and nature is divorced, and the technological and artificial have supplanted the natural. The composers of the texts explore the effects of human development on the natural world by utilizing the science fiction genre as a means of social criticism, guided by their respective cultural contexts. Where Scott utilizes the film techniques of camerawork, sound and design and Huxley uses satire and irony, both composers use allusion, symbolism, characterisation and intertextuality to warn of the dangers of ongoing scientific development unhampered by human morality and ethics, and the dangers this can have on our relationship with nature.Aldous Huxley's dystopian fiction "Brave New World" was written in the context of the 1920s - a period of rising excesses followed by a worldwide economic depression, a period of limbo and flux following a devastating world war, and a period where world stability and peace were of paramount concern to many. Advances in science were appearing at a frightening pace, and many were concerned about the moral and ethical impacts of these developments. This context is vitally important, as it shaped the novels thematic concerns - Huxley uses dystopian fiction to raise concerns about his current society. Hence, the society of the World State, set 600years into the future, has little or no direct representation with nature - where human civilization is often associated with dominance over the natural, Huxley criticizes the ongoing development of his society by offering a vision of nature in terminal decline.Although his context of production is quite different, Scott's "Blade Runne"r voices similar concerns. Where the environmental destruction of the World State is the result of a conscious and deliberate elimination of the natural and the wild by a consumer- and technology-driven society, the degradation of LA 2019 is the result of gradual, unchecked industrialism, the inevitable result of rampant industrialism in which nature, and the natural, are the first casualties. Like the 1920s, the 1980s was a period of rising consumerism and was marked by a return to conservative politics in both the USA and Britain, the overarching slogan was "greed is good" and privatization, stock market recessions and laissez-faire economic policies prevailed. Hence, where the World State dominates BNW, "Blade Runner" is ruled by corporate governance, as apparent in the film's first scene. An establishing shot of LA reveals a Scott's interpretation of a hell on earth - smog weighs down heavily on the industrial wasteland and huge pipes belch smoke and fire. This is reflected in an apparently human eye, a symbol which is used repeatedly during the film. The Tyrell Corporation dominates - a symbol of the attack on the sovereignty of nation states by...

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