Comparative Studies Frankenstein Blade Runner

Comparative Studies Frankenstein Blade Runner

Tegan explains about Comparative Studies Frankenstein Blade Runner.

 Comparative Studies Frankenstein Blade Runner

Comparative Studies Frankenstein Blade Runner

  • Making a Comparison

    • Always list and consider the older text first as it may have influenced the younger text.
    • You should explore your text’s context and values and the overall message of the text.
  • Mary Shelly

    Mary Shelley - Frankenstein

    • Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
    • Born in 1797.
    • Mother was Mary Wollstonecraft: feminist, educator and philosopher who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).
    • Father was William Godwin: philosopher and writer.
    • Wollstonecraft died ten days after Mary was born.
    • Mary received little formal education but had home tutors.
    • Many intellectuals visited Godwin, including Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    • Mary met the radical poet Percy Bysshe Shelley through her father.
    • Shelley visited Godwin, whose radical politics upset Shelley’s conservative family.
    • Shelley agreed to bail Godwin out of debt, but his family would not give him the money, for fear he would spend it on charity.
    • Godwin felt betrayed.
    • 17 year-old Mary and Percy began meeting secretly.
    • Percy embodied her father’s ideals e.g. that marriage was a repressive tradition, which Godwin argued in Political Justice (1793) but later retracted.
    • In 1814, the couple secretly left for France, leaving Percy’s pregnant wife behind.
    • As they travelled, Mary and Percy read works by Wollstonecraft and other writers and kept a joint journal of their own writing.
    • When Mary returned, she was pregnant. She and Percy were penniless and Mary’s father refused to acknowledge her.
    • Mary lost her premature baby. At the same time, an ecstatic Percy had a baby with his wife.
    • Mary had another child with Shelley called William.
    • In 1816, Mary, Percy and their son travelled to Geneva.
    • Mary began referring to herself as Mrs Shelley.
    • They spent the summer with the poet Lord Byron.
    • They discussed galvanism, and the experiments of Erasmus Darwin, who was said to have animated dead matter.
    • They also amused themselves by reading German ghost stories, prompting Byron to suggest they each write their own supernatural tale.
    • Mary conceived the idea for Frankenstein: “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.“
    • Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.”
    • She began writing her first novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.
    • Percy and Mary, who was pregnant again, married in 1816, after his first wife’s suicide, in an attempt to get custody of Percy’s other son.
    • In 1817, Mary finished Frankenstein, which was published anonymously in January 1818.
    • The public assumed that Percy was the author, since the book was dedicated to his political hero, William Godwin – Mary’s father.
    • The rest of her life was miserable: she lost more children, had to deal with Shelley’s various love affairs and debt collectors.
    • She was devastated when Shelley drowned in a boating accident and never took another husband.
    • She devoted her life to writing, getting Shelley’s poems published and providing for her one remaining son.
  • The Age of Enlightenment: 1700s

    • Applied reason and science to divinity and nature and is linked with the Scientific Revolution figures such as Isaac Newton.
    • It was a time of essayists and philosophers.
    • The movement created the framework for the American and French Revolutions.
  • Descartes (1596-1650)


    • Descartes
    • Descartes was a major influence on Enlightenment philosophers, and influenced the monster’s struggle to come to terms with his existence as a being.
    • Ideas such as Cognito Ergo Sum, I think therefore I am, are part of the monster’s quest to define himself.
    • Descartes was also responsible for mind/body dualism that allowed humans to see themselves as different from other creatures who only had a body, because they had a mind or soul.
  • John Locke

    John Locke
    John Locke
    • Locke was an English philosopher and liberalist who influenced Rousseau.
    • He contributed the notion of Tabula Rasa, or blank slate of the mind, which has no innate knowledge, but must learn through experience.
    • The monster is born tabula rasa and is influenced by the texts he reads.
  • Rousseau (1712 –1778)

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Rousseau was a philosopher, writer, and composer of the Enlightenment, whose philosophy influenced the French Revolution.
    • His treatise On the Social Contract (1762) which suggests that rulers had responsibilities to their subjects, influenced Victor’s responsibility to his creation.
    • His philosophy of education, Emile (1762) also dictates how a tutor should gently lead his pupil to develop morality through reason and experience, without letting harm come to him.
    • Victor also fails the monster in this duty.
  • Galvani’s Animal Electricity (1791)

    Galvani’s Animal Electricity
    Galvani’s Animal Electricity
    • Galvani was an Italian physician and physicist.
    • In 1771, he discovered that the muscles of dead frogs’ legs twitched when struck by a spark.
    • His theory of animal electricity are described in: On the Effect of Electricity on Muscular Motion (1791)
    • Galvani was the first investigator to appreciate the relationship between electricity and animation – or life. The phenomenon was dubbed galvanism.

Try our Comprehensive English Courses!