"Blade Runner" - What techniques does the author use to explore the idea that one person's perception of reality may differ from that of another?

Essay by YoddiB, July 2007

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“What techniques does the author use to explore the idea that one person’s perception of reality may differ from that of another?”In Blade Runner, the whole plot is based around hunting down a group of replicants (robotic humans) on Earth who are searching for the explanation of their existence. In this text, the question could be more specifically worded to: ‘What are the techniques used to explore the idea of the reality of these replicants in the eyes of different people, or characters?’ The techniques that most impact a film can be conveyed to an audience are: the visual devices, plot techniques and emotional techniques.

Visual devices are the devices that set films apart from novels or radio as to what the author, director etc can not only tell, but show the audience what they want them to see in the story. The consistent obsesses this film has around the eye is one such device.

The eye is the window to the soul and everything that is real and alive; replicants have been made to replicate humans to ease our inconveniences. The fact that the eye, through an empathy test, is really the only way to decipher as to who is human or replicant is an incredibly clever, but subtle way of giving the audience the harsh divide between their perceptions. Further explanation as to the workings of the test is that if the subject is a replicant, their pupil dilation is more extreme than that of a human’s, and goes on to liken them to under-emotionally developed beings, thus poses the question to you in a confrontational way that makes you try to find your own conclusion. The setting itself, although taken for granted due to genre, actually plays a large part in the visual device technique. A futuristic...