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Prometheus Justified: Blade Runner, Frankenstein And The Proper Usage Of Violence

977 words - 4 pages

The human experience encompasses the entire emotional and spiritual spectrum of ideology. Violence is unfortunately a louder and more dramatic aspect of this expressive catalogue, and as ugly as it may be, man's brutality against man is one of his most defining aspects. In the case of the creature from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the replicants from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, this violence takes on a role of complete dominance in the individual and essentially consumes his entire being. The question posed, then, is whether or not these bloodthirsty creations are indeed justified in their actions by the utter rejection they receive from their respective societies. In light of such works as The Bible's Book of Genesis, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, and Jean Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, it becomes quite clear that these anomalies were not only right in their violence but that it was the only solution given their adverse situations.

        The tale of creation found in the Bible has long been a widely accepted history of mankind. The creator, God, shuns his creations, Adam and Eve, because they had "eaten of the tree, which I commanded thee thou shouldst not eat" (Genesis 6). While this may be justifiable in the utopian Garden of Eden, Shelley's creature and the Replicants are unified in that they live in far from perfect worlds. In the case of the creature, he appears to fully understand the rejection which society and Dr. Frankenstein greets him with: "Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed."(Shelley 84). As the creature says himself after reading Milton's Paradise Lost, "I was not even of the same nature as man" (Shelley 105). In short the creature is never under the jurisdiction of Genesis because he has no Eden from which he can be exiled, and while he is violent and rebellious by nature his initial rejection justifies his brutality.

        While the creature's world may be cold and distant from him, the apocalyptic world of the Replicants is grossly hostile and cutthroat. Roy Batty and his counterparts are dealt the ultimate dishonor; they are not even killed but are instead "retired" (Blade Runner, 1993). In this sense they are given the same discourtesy as Adam; just as God tells Adam "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 7), neither are the replicants granted the luxury of dying in the traditional sense. The replicants have very limited lifespans and are essentially created to serve and die, and due to this they have every right to rebel against their creator that Adam did. In this way both the creature and the replicants are completely legitimate in their brutality as far as Genesis is concerned.

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