Comparative study of texts and contexts - "Blade Runner" and "Brave New World"

Essay by bobkaizokuA-, June 2006

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'Although BNW and BR were composed fifty years apart they deal with the same issues but communicate different values.'

Discuss this statement and how your understanding of humanity's relationship with nature was shaped.

Human relationships, and humanity's understanding of the wild, are shaped and reflected in "Blade Runner", by Ridley Scott, and in "Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley) through their composers' use of the contrast between true nature and the wild. Both texts present dystopic futures where the materialistic, scientific and economic ways of thinking have been allowed to nullify the humanistic, religious and philosophical ways of thinking, in the name of progress. Although Brave New World and Blade Runner were composed fifty years apart they deal with similar issues such as the 'loss of humanity', but communicate different values such as the necessity of a natural environment. In Blade Runner, people see nature as a novelty, whereas in Brave New World, people are conditioned to hate nature.

It is their respective contexts which defines humanity's relationship with nature.

By definition the phrase, "natural world" suggests a world that is formed by nature; growing spontaneously; uncultivated; and not artificial. The dominant environments in both Brave New World and Blade Runner cannot, in any of these senses, be considered "natural". In Brave New World, nature is simply ignored and removed for the benefit of humanity. This thematic concern stems from Huxley's context of the early twentieth century. In 1932 shortly before publishing Brave New World, Huxley lived in a time where science, technology and consumption were rapidly progressing and this supposedly deteriorated the environment. Huxley feared the rapid influences of technology would result in a technologically dominated world where man has lost its relationship with nature and in doing so, he constructed the text 'Brave New World'. The...