How can one truly feel as though they are accepted if society depends on their ability to conform, to blend in? One must be the same as another in order to avoid judgement or rejection. Individuals interpret this view to mean, to be different is to be judged. In every modern society, there are individuals who have been severely damaged by rejection resulting in consequences often grievous or chaotic to the victim, society and devastatingly, the innocent. Though is it the fault of society alone, who is to blame? The determining factor of a persons ability to feel as though they are accepted, as though they belong, seems to come from pleasing society. The Creature in Mary Shellys novel, Frankenstein is used to explore, amongst other things, the significance of being criticized by society and the consequences that follow; as are the Replicants in Ridley Scotts film, Blade Runner. There, those who are not alike are excluded and even hunted by those who are not willing to accept or adapt to these differences. The two texts also assist the audience to understand the role that God had to play in the two contexts, and how the role of religion is seen to change over time as well as societys attitude towards the idea of God. So we can see the shared view on our reactions to otherness, our expectations that all members of a society will be alike, that we can and should judge others by their appearance; and the price society pays, even though there are differences between them in terms of approach.
The Creature in Frankenstein serves as a representation of how exclusion and criticism for being different can create a desire for revenge. Mary Shelly represents the consequences of being physically abnormal - making the creature ugly, a mummy again could not be as hideous as that wretch. When deserted by Victor, his creature experiences a deep desire to be connected. He finds interest and curiosity in spying on a family, learning from all that takes place. He longs to be part of something; to have an emotional connection with another, much like others with differences in society. In telling his own story, the creature is seen to make relationship references, beloved cottages and my protectors connecting himself to them. The desire to belong to something is again highlighted by the creature doing them favours, leaving himself unknown; Bringing them firewood every night, reflecting creature believing he has the ability to win their approval. Awareness of the judgemental society restricts any attempt to create relationship and the creature expresss his desire to belong, as well as his acknowledgment of their expected disproval, I longed to join them, but dared not. He knows his appearance is deformed and recognises he will therefore be judged on sight. Predictably, rejection by this family leaves the creature angry, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind, seeking revenge, and as a result, murders the innocent, afterwards feeling a sense of hellish triumph. The creature did not have to do wrong by any member of society, though their instantaneous reactions of judgement upon sight allow no sense of belonging to be achieved, rather a justification to take revenge, as he did not feel this exclusion was deserved and came without rationalization. The creatures expressions of how neglect and rejection lead him to anger and bitterness can enable us to see the consequences of a judgemental society and how one feeling excluded or unwanted, can lead to an unstable psychology; acting on impulse without thought of ramifications.
Blade Runner, filmed in the 1980s, the search for perfection era, highlights the idea that people search for flawlessness, though when confronted with it reject it, represented through the Replicant Roy. Juxtaposed to The Creature Roy Batty is noticeable for his perfection, in a world relegated to the home of the ill, deformed and despised. Roy like The Creature is not given a chance to reveal himself to society, or to gain acceptance. The director has made Roy physically lighter then other characters, blonde hair, and blue eyes in amongst a society that blend, being dull and bleak, highlighting a reason for standing out. Roy is seen to have human traits, far beyond the capacity of the average human continuously referred to as, more human than human. C21st society does not take to Roys perfection with pleasure, and as a result hunt him, highlighting their neglect and rejection of whats different. Roy does not take to this knowledge with much enthusiasm. Though he does not express his understanding of being an outcast, Roy lives with the understanding that he is being hunted; this knowledge provoking a sense of dread, highlighted through his language - painful to live in fear isnt it and close-up shots of his face contorted with emotion. The Creature and The Replicant highlight similar views that when rejected, one feels a sense of isolation and the results of this will vary, as The Creature moans and wails in agony, continuously making reference to his anger towards, man-kind as well as his Creator in recognition of his deformity. Cursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me is degust? The differences in time highlight the fact that societies criticisms on the physically different have not yet changed, and the consequences of this are devastatingly the same 200 years ago, as they are today.
Unable to blend, or be accepted by society however, is not the drive of anger that dwells in Roy, unlike The Creature, rather his lacking satisfaction. Upon meeting his maker, Tyrell highlights Roys perfectness, You were made as well as I could make you. This acknowledgement however, is not satisfying as Roy confronts Tyrell with the question of prolonging life. When told, however, that this was not a possibility, Roys anger leads him to killing his maker feeling unsatisfied and disappointed. The anger he feels towards Tyrell leads him to also murder J.R Sebastian, with no need of justification. Like The Creature, Roy is angry with his maker, though in Scotts world, if Tyrell is a representation of God, there is an idea that we can kill God represented as Roy kills Tyrell. The Creature however, will not murder his creator, as Roy does, representing the religious era of the ending 1800s. Throughout, Frankenstein while not directly relating to God or any particular religion, ideas of the creations of God are present. In the 1900s, society was being introduced to religions such as Buddhism and the Morm ons though there was dominance in the number of people referring to themselves as Christians. In this time, it was believed there was only one God, and he was the person to create human life. Almost two hundred years later, the 21st century is seen to kill the idea of God in a way that would once be referred to as blaspheming or using Gods name in vein. The ability to mock God is seen acceptable to all and is heard and seen in everyday life, both throughout society as well as being publically verbalised. The texts, when viewed together can be seen to criticise society for their idea that they know better then God and how the role God is degraded over time- resulting in no acknowledgement by the time of modern day life.
How can one truly feel as though they are accepted if society depends on their ability to conform? The individual will always determine how one can feel a true and ultimate feeling of belonging. The C18th and C20th can both be seen to highlight the views society holds against the abnormal, unjustified and judgemental as they may be. The continual trend held over 200 years highlights a flaw in society. These criticisms have been raised over time, though the importance of them minimized, resulting in no alteration or renewal in an ability accept the physically abnormal, whether they be deformed like The Creature set in the C18th Century, or showing signs of perfectness like The Replicants in the C21st. Societies demand to blend or to be the same as another proves to be impossible by these texts. Mary Shelly has represented societies attitudes to others and the rejection that follows, juxtaposed with the 1980s representing a search for perfectness, though confrontation of this perfectness results in rejection as well. It is here that we can draw a conclusion that society is not aware of what they search for. What is the benchmark? Who fits it? The texts are an indication that until society's critisms, or unobtainable search for perfection cease, individuals will continue to feel 'othered' resulting in consequences to grievous and devastating to express.
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