Written in 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was set in a period where Romanticism was developing, an era focused on the sublimity of nature and on the individual. This idea is evident throughout the novel as it is used to emphasis the power of nature for both beauty and destruction. Shelly is seen to use the sublimity of nature as an invigorating device for victor, “when nature had the power of bestowing on me delightful sensations. A serene sky filled me with ecstasy; the flowers of spring bloomed in the hedges.” Vivid imagery is used to illuminate the peacefulness and contemplation of the sublime nature that is constantly surrounding Victor. Shelly has also illustrated this notion further with the contrasted use of alliteration, “serene sky”, evoking an image of a perfect world, which helps reinforce the peacefulness of nature and how Victor, and many other characters, feel when surrounded by the natural world. This peacefulness is juxtaposed by Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, set in a corrupted future century world. Similarly to Frankenstein, the natural world plays a major role in Blade Runner but is portrayed as an unnatural world. Within the first panoramic shot, the audience is subjected to a destroyed world, a dark industrial urban wasteland which is heavily polluted. Visual irony is used as a means to show Los Angeles, “city of angels”, looking more like a pit of hell. Nature has been destroyed. Animals are presumed extinct, although we see the unicorn as a natural creature in a natural setting. The unicorn is symbolic of ambiguity of hope, freedom and spirit. There are no signs of any trees or plants except for miniature Bonsai trees signifying mans inherent desire to control nature into conforming to what is believed a ‘better version’. We are also subjected to constant rain and darkness, with the only natural light being an unnatural orange. These film noir’s are the only aspects the audiences are submitted to when shown an outside scene. The panoramic shot and film noir speculate that the natural is now off world, creating a post apocalyptic tone.
Frankenstein’s world is portrayed as moving forward into the direction of industrialization, exploration and scientific advancement. These key themes are conveyed through characters such as Victor, Walton and Clerval who are all set in the desire to search and attempt at making a discovery. Throughout the beginning of the novel Victor is seen to express a curious interest for natural philosophy, “Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate.” The personification of this idea conveys Victor’s interest turned obsession. “I became dizzy with immensity of the prospect which it illustrated, as surprised, that among so many men of genius who had directed their enquiries towards the same science, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret.” This quote helps establish that Victor is an intelligent individual who is able to break intellectual barriers, leading to him discovering the source of life. Hence, the creation of his ‘Monster’. Correspondingly in Blade Runner, we are showcased to a future century LA where life is based on scientific activity and advancements in technology. This world is based on advertisements of a better life and self, as we see through blimps that promote going off world and huge building signs