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Frankenstein and Blade Runner

Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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Frankenstein and Blade Runner

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    1. Frankenstein and Blade Runner Introduction The elective Texts in Time involves the comparison of two texts. One pair of texts listed for study consists of the novel, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley, and the film Blade Runner (1982),directed by Ridley Scott. Writing about this unit could involve the following: Comparative study of common features of both texts Discussion and understanding of the contexts in which both these texts were composed. Analysis of how language (textual and filmic) contribute to the creation and reading of both texts. Discussion and research.

    2. Comparative Context. It is important in this unit to consider the 164 years difference in time between the creation of these two texts. Blade Runner can be appreciated as an appropriation of Frankenstein as well as an integral and original text in its own right. It is also important to see that Frankenstein must be seen as an appropriation itself as Shelley clearly recognises that she drew from the Promethean myth in her writing. Nonetheless it is original in its ability to popularise the gothic genre in novel form. 1818 and 1982. What are the major changes in terms of industry, and society and technology over this period?

    3. Frankenstein: Structure and Genre The text of the novel Frankenstein and page numbers cited here are from both the Penguin Classic edition edited by Maurice Hindle and the prescribed Penguin Red Classic edition. The full text of the novel is also available online on several sites. For example: http://www.guttenburg.org/ and www.literature.org An online site may be useful in your note taking and in highlighting important quotes and in completing various activities..

    4. Mary Shelley Mary Shelley made an anonymous but powerful debut into the world of literature when Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus was published in March, 1818. She was only nineteen when she began writing her story. She and her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, were visiting poet Lord Byron at Lake Geneva in Switzerland when Byron challenged each of his guests to write a ghost story

    5. Syllabus Each elective requires: The integration of the modes of reading, writing , listening, speaking, viewing and representing as appropriate Responding to and composing texts The integrated study of language and text Examination of a variety of textual forms.

    6. Module A: Comparative Study of texts and context This module requires students to compare texts in order to explore them in relation to their contexts. It develops students understanding of the effects of context and questions of value. Each elective in this module requires the study of groups of texts which are to be selected from a prescribed text list. These texts may be in different forms or media. Students examine ways in which social, cultural and historical context influences aspects of texts, or the ways in which changes in context lead to changed values being reflected in texts. This includes study and use of the language of texts, consideration of purposes and audiences, and analysis of the content, values and attitudes conveyed through a range of readings. Students develop a range of imaginative, interpretive and analytical compositions that relate to the comparative study of texts and context. These compositions may be realised in a variety of forms and media.

    7. Prescriptions: In this elective students compare how the treatment of similar content in a pair of texts composed in different times and contexts may reflect changing values and perspectives. By considering the texts in their contexts and comparing values, ideas and language forms and features, students come to a heightened understanding of the meaning and significance of each text.

    8. Ideas in The Comparative Study of Text The comparative text option of Elective 2 Texts in Time of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus (1818 / revised 1831), and Ridley Scotts Bladerunner (1982, Directors Cut 1991) forms the majority of school curriculum programs by an average proportion of about 8:1, and will be the texts that most markers encounter. These two texts, their respective contexts, and their comparison, provide a huge range of ideas and material about which to write and discuss. This seminar will attempt to address as many as possible within the time that we have, but students should be prepared to continue the research made available to them here, and develop their own theses and hypotheses, based on their readings of the two texts and their contexts.

    9. Modules 2009 Examiners comments. General Comments Elective 2 was the most popular elective with approximately 40% of all candidates attempting the question on Frankenstein and BladeRunner. Better responses developed a thesis which addressed the question and demonstrated a strong conceptual understanding of the module and the elective. These responses embedded an evaluation of the relationship between text and context in the analysis of the texts and thus revealed a wide-ranging understanding of context and how that was reflected in texts. These responses also incorporated an analysis of the ways in which a comparative study invited deeper understanding of the concepts suggested by the question.

    10. Modules 2009 Examiners comments. Weaker responses tended to make connections between texts often through lengthy description and recount. They were explanatory and narrative rather than analytical. These responses did not demonstrate evaluative judgments and treatment of context was often superficial or absent. Textual references were often not well selected or integrated into the discussion of the two texts studied.

    11. Specific Comments: Texts in Time Better responses demonstrated a conceptual understanding of the module through detailed analysis of the interrelationship between the two texts studied. They demonstrated a clear understanding of how context influenced the values and ideas in both texts. These responses considered the key terms of disruption, aspirations or independence and identity as a basis for the thesis developed in their response.

    12. Specific Comments: Texts in Time Weaker responses tended to identify some similarities between these texts, often with a limited understanding of their significance. These responses often considered the key terms of the question in a superficial or generalised way and/or ignored them. Treatment of context was not integrated into the discussion and was frequently a reference to the time of composition rather than an understanding of how context is reflected in the construction and reception of texts. Textual support was often not appropriate.

    13. Examination Tips: In the HSC exam, it all comes down to the one 40 minute essay (or Other Text Type) that you write for this question in Module A. Paper 2 is 2 hours long, which translates into 40 minutes per question, with each question worth an equal amount 20 marks. You should aim to produce a response for each question that sits securely within the 17-20 (or A-range) marking band. This means close study, careful revision and monitoring your time quota for each of the three questions. I strongly recommend having a time piece on the desk for each examination so that you focal range is on the desk and you do not have to keep readjusting your eyes for a clock in the distance. For Module A, Elective 2 you are going to be writing an essay on the idea of Texts in Time, using the two texts Frankenstein and Blade Runner and their respective contexts in response to an unseen question. You will in 40 minutes need to: Write a minimum of 1,100 words.

    14. Examination Tips: Answer the question. Develop a thesis from the question that underpins your response. Discuss the central ideas and themes of both texts, illuminated through the characters, setting, plot and use of filmic (BR) or literary and narrative language (FTMP). Quote or reference specific instances, and identify and analyse the purpose for the techniques used in those instances compare and contrast the two texts handling of similar ideas, altered by each ones different context; and discuss the relationship of the two texts to their contexts, finding similarities and differences in their handling of comparable ideas.

    15. Qualities That you should demonstrate To attain a high band range you will need to demonstrate, clearly and unequivocally to the marker, the following qualities in your response: A fluent writing style (and legible handwriting!) A strong and continuous voice that carries the thesis and argument over to your reader. A high range of literacy (this includes impeccable spelling). A sophisticated level of language and vocabulary. Continuous control of sentence structure, generally favouring multiple embedded clauses to handle the complex relationship between ideas, offset by occasional short punchy sentences for effect, irony or emphasis. Both a breadth and depth of argument, demonstrating both a range of contrasting and different ideas and a depth of argument on one or two major points, with a generally dextrous handling and control of all ideas within the paragraph, and across the essay as a whole.

    16. Be Conscious of the Examiner These last two qualities are probably the most important features. Some markers mark more intuitively, looking at the ideas that the student is articulating in their essay; some markers mark more pedantically, checking for handling and control of language. All markers will do both, so it is therefore in your interest to cover both the quality and mechanics of your writing, and the depth and perceptiveness of your ideas both ends of the writing spectrum - in your response. For instance, most markers will often overlook minor lapses in spelling or grammar if and only if they end up reading an intelligent, incisive and well-argued and structured piece of writing, that addresses the question on a number of levels and lays out both a broad scope of ideas as well as a depth of argument (but then again, an essay that has these qualities almost always has good spelling and grammar as well.)

    17. What does context actually mean? It does not mean rewriting a history essay on early 19th century European History in the exam. Module A more so even than Module B really is an ideas Module, and context can refer not only to historical context, but also to literary and intellectual contexts, which are not bound to one culture or time. The notion of life forms being created is the same idea whether handled in the prehistorical creation myths, or Classical Greek mythology, or Haydns Creation or Hoffmans 1815/16 story of the doll-like Cyborg Olympia, or Shelleys 1818 novel. Ridley Scotts warnings of a dystopic future of cyborgs (replicants) of 2019 in 1982. An idea like creation of life, a perfect possible future world, is one that has existed since humankind began to gather in groups and organise their affairs. This is where ideas function above context.

    18. "hideous phantasm of man" Settled around Byron's fireplace in June 1816, the intimate group of intellectuals had their imaginations and the stormy weather as the stimulus and inspiration for ghoulish visions. A few nights later, Mary Shelley imagined the "hideous phantasm of man" who became the confused yet deeply sensitive creature in Frankenstein. She once said, "My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings." While many stage, television, and film adaptations of Frankenstein have simplified the complexity of the intellectual and emotional responses of Victor Frankenstein and his creature to their world, the novel still endures. Its lasting power can be seen in the range of reactions explored by various literary critics and over ninety dramatizations.

    19. Science Fiction Although early critics greeted the novel with a combination of praise and disdain, readers were fascinated with and a bit horrified by the macabre aspects of the novel. Interestingly, the macabre has transformed into the possible as the world approaches the twenty-first century: the ethical implications of genetic engineering, and, more recently, the cloning of livestock in Scotland, find echoes in Shelley's work. In addition to scientific interest, literary commentators have noted the influence of both Percy Shelley and William Godwin (Mary's father) in the novel. Many contemporary critics have focused their attention on the novel's biographical elements, tracing Shelley's maternal and authorial insecurities to her very unique creation myth. Ultimately, the novel resonates with philosophical and moral ramifications: themes of nurture versus nature, good versus evil, and ambition versus social responsibility dominate readers' attention and provoke thoughtful consideration of the most sensitive issues of our time.

    20. Author Biography Surrounded by some of the most famous authors in history, Mary Shelley struggled to find her own authorial voice in Frankenstein. She was born in August, 1797 to William Godwin, a revolutionary thinker who wrote An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Shelley's freethinking parents married when Wollstonecraft was five months pregnant with Shelley. Even though both Godwin and Wollstonecraft philosophically opposed the institution of marriage, they wanted to give Mary social respectability. Unfortunately, Shelley would never witness her parents' marital relationship because Wollstonecraft died ten days after Mary's birth. A doctor (summoned by the midwife, who could not remove the placenta after Mary's delivery) infected Wollstonecraft's uterus with his unwashed hands. Shelley turned to Wollstonecraft's books to learn about a mother she never knew. Self-taught, she also engaged herself with the books that graced her father's library shelves. The new Mrs. Godwin, Mary Jane Clairmont, affirmed Godwin's decision not to give Mary any formal schooling, even though they both recognized her curious mind. Clairmont played a major role with other decisions in Mary's life, which gradually heightened her unhappiness with her home life.

    21. Author Biography In fact, Mary's upbringing mirrored certain elements of the childhood story Cinderella because Clairmont favored her own children above Godwin's. Clairmont harbored jealous feelings towards the offspring of two of the most progressive thinkers of the time. In addition, Clairmont resented Shelley's strong devotion to Godwin, so she limited Shelley's interaction with her father. Mary eventually transferred her affections to Percy Shelley, another prominent literary figure of the day. Percy Shelley and his wife, Harriet, dined with Mary's family after Percy wrote a letter of admiration to Godwin. Mary Shelley met Percy for a second time, two years later, and the pair began spending almost every day with each other. Percy was twenty-two and his wife was pregnant with their second child when Mary declared her love for him. Initially, Mary agreed not to see Percy when Godwin condemned their relationship. But Percy's dramatic threat to commit suicide convinced Mary to flee with him to France in July 1814.

    22. Author Biography The year 1816 revealed both tragedy and creativity for Shelley. Most of Mary Shelley's biographies trace 1816 as a happy year for the Shelley marriage; a son, William, was born, and the couple did extensive traveling. Mary and Percy met poet Lord Byron at his home in Lake Geneva, the infamous site where Mary gave birth to the Frankenstein myth. But this year also brought much grief to the couple's happiness, as both Fanny Imlay (Mary's older half-sister) and Harriet Shelley committed suicide only weeks apart from each other. Their deaths lead to a series of other deaths and produced the beginnings of Mary's depression. Both William and Clara Shelley, Percy and Mary's son and daughter, died a year apart from each other, and Percy drowned in a boating accident in 1822. Mary spent the remainder of her years in England with her only surviving son, Percy, writing five other novels and other critical and biographical writings. She died of complications from a brain tumor in 1851.

    23. Age of Reason (Enlightenment) 1600s to late 1700s It is important to have a good understanding of the importance and historical context of the Enlightenment to Shelleys writing. Frankenstein can be interpreted as a reaction to this period and its staunch adherence to Science and Mathematics to explain the world. Philosophers of this period were vehement in their condemnation of authority and the church for keeping the people suppressed by ignorance and fear to maintain their own personal power. Philosophers of this period were influenced by the empirical truths such as Sir Isaac Newtons laws of gravitational forces (p.36) and Mathematics with its (self-evident) truths. They extrapolated this to the belief that all areas of the world including nature and even the human psyche could be studied and predicted (Montesquieu).

    24. Philosophers of the Age Reason Philosophers of the Age Reason Descartes wrote: the power of forming a good judgment and of distinguishing the true from the false is by nature equal in all men. Descartes therefore thought to be rational, a person need only acquire an education that teaches a good method of reasoning. Locke wrote that reason is: the candle of the Lord set up by Himself in mens minds, and must be our last judge and guide in everything. Locke believed that anyone can reason as long as the capacity to reason is allowed to develop. He again emphasised the importance of education in this process. Philosophers of this period emphasised values of human worth and dignity. This therefore led to dissatisfaction of the masses and is seen to be a contributing factor in the French and American Revolutions.

    25. Romanticism Romantic authors such as Wordsworth and Coleridge lived in the scenic Lake District of northwestern England and wrote expressively about the beauties of nature, often in a conversational tone. Lord Byron created a semiautobiographical hero in such lengthy works as Childe Harolds Pilgrimage (1812-18) and the unfinished Don Juan (1819-1824). Shelley is unreservedly romantic in style. She was obviously heavily influenced by her predecessors not least of which included Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley (her husband). Byron can be considered as the originator of the antihero because he wrote sympathetically about rebels, outlaws and other persons scorned by society. There are echoes of this in Shelleys Frankenstein with her treatment of the monster.

    26. Percy Bysshe Shelley Most noteworthy is the fact that her husband was an idealist and social reformer. In his long poem Prometheus Unbound (1820), Shelley praised the individual who takes a stand against unjust authority. There are obvious links to her husband in the title and influences through the fact that Shelley is overtly concerned with the plight of the those that are disadvantaged socio-economically. This can be seen at least twice in the novel when Caroline (mother) is rescued from poverty and then does the same for her adopted daughter Elizabeth. Most notably it is not Victor that provides our next insight into the downtrodden of the community but his alter ego. Tragically because of his misshapen form he can only reveal his sympathies and need for acceptance to the blind man. He is tragically in more need of salvation than they. You could also make socioeconomic links to Blade Runner through images of Deckards claustrophobic flat and world as well as the cyborg underclass peasants, merchants, and even the vandals. This contrasts with the Mayanesque tower where Tyrrell lives.

    27. Science Fiction or Horror Frankenstein is also described as one of the first examples of the science fiction genre Explain why Frankenstein might be considered science fiction. Which characters have become stereotypical figures in other examples of the science fiction genre? Rather than being Science Fiction it may be a study of philosophical ideas through a Science Fiction Inventive: (Humanism, Fatalism, Romanticism, Existentialism)

    28. Frankenstein The subtitle: The New Prometheus. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole the fire from heaven. Shelley uses Prometheus as a metaphor in her title. Research which character and events in the novel can be related to the myth at the following links. Continue searching the internet for further connections to the Promethean myth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein#.22Modern_Prometheus.22

    29. Volume 1 p (13-86) Captain Waltons narrative (p14-15 Penguin Classic or p4 Penguin Red Classic). The novel begins with a series of letters written by the captain. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with sight of a part of the world never before visited:

    30. Plot Summary Opening Letters Plot Summary Opening Letters Frankenstein opens with Robert Walton's letter from St. Petersburg, Russia, to his sister in England. He encourages her to share his enthusiasm about his journey to the North Pole to discover both the secret of magnetism and a passage through the pole. In additional letters he wavers between his solitude and alienation on the one hand, and his determined heart and resolved will on the other. His last letter tells the startling story of his having seen a being of gigantic stature shaped like a man, fleeing across the ice.

    31. Letter 3 Letter 3 is quite short but it does have a purpose. Outline the importance of this letter in your opinion: you may consider that Walton does suggest that he is looking for somebody of like mind: Why not still proceed over the untamed yet obedient element? What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man? p.14 This may help to connect with the second part of the narrative process. Likewise you will need to connect this to p.19: I said in one of my letters that I should find no friend on the wide ocean: yet I have found a man who, before his spirit had been broken by misery, I should have been happy to have possessed as the brother of my heart.

    32. Letter IV This is the climax of this first phase and provides an introduction to Victor Frankenstein and his alter ego the monster. p.16 Why is Victors questioning of Walton particularly strange before he boards the ship? P.16-17 How is the difference between these two strangers apparent in p.21: you have hope, and the world before you, and have no cause for despair. But I I have lost everything and cannot begin life anew. Questions: What device is being used in the narrative style above? How does their mutual search for knowledge and wisdom bring these two men together? How is this a product of the Enlightenment and how is this treated ironically? Justine Moritz Chapter VI: A Letter arrives for Victor from Elizabeth and the chief topic is Justine Moritz with a sideline about William. Both are written about happily and in hindsight this is a didactic and contrived piece of prose and its sole purpose is to invoke latter pathos.

    33. Divine Learning It is to divine learning that Victor turned his attention. He wanted to usurp the knowledge of the Gods: It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn still my enquiries were directed to the physical secrets of the world. Meanwhile Clerval as a foil for Victor directed his attention to the moral relations of things. He dreamed of doing something worthy of being entered into the pages of one of his books. Elizabeth had no such ambitions but supported both Clerval and Victor in theirs and tried to temper them for the good. N.B. she is still described in language worthy of a halo: the saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine dedicated lamp She has celestial eyes and is there to bless us. p.34

    34. Cornelius Agrippa Victor chances to read the works of Agrippa and communicates this to his father who condemns the work as outdated and chimerical. This term is notably Greek means: a fantastic or grotesque product of the imagination; monster with a lions head, goats body and serpents tail (Oxford). (See description p.59) Victor decides to ignore his father and the philosophical practicalities of Scientists like Sir Isaac Newton because they left him discontented and dissatisfied. They were only: picking up shells beside the great and unexplored ocean of truth. Victor was ambitious to find the truth of the secrets of nature expeditiously at any cost even if it meant losing his soul to do so.

    35. William is Dead! A letter arrives from Alphonse with the chief business of conveying that: William is Dead! P.78-9 Upon discovery Clerval exclaims: Are we always to be unhappy? This echoes chapter one about the parents role to: direct to happiness or misery. It would appear the latter path is manifest. Victor goes to the site of the murder and witnesses a tempest, so beautiful yet terrific, described like a noble war in the sky. and Victors mind links it to Williams funeral dirge. In this already gothic scene Victor spies a figure in the trees: A flash of lightning illuminated the object its gigantic stature and deformity informed that it was the wretch to whom I had given life.

    36. Gothic Imagery Victor immediately makes the connection between the spectre in the woods and his own creation. He immediately connects this to himself viewing the tragedy as his own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me. p.85 Elizabeths despair is compared to a cloud that passes over the fair moon, for a while hides but cannot tarnish its brightness. (gothic imagery p.100) William and Justine, the first hapless victims to my unhallowed arts. Were therefore not to be the last victims in this tale of woe.

    37. Volume II The second volume begins in the first chapter with a juxtaposition of good and evil. We are told that he is sleepless because of what he has done and wandered like an evil spirit. In contrast we are reminded that despite the outcome that his intentions were noble and honorable: I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should make myself useful to my fellow beings. He is plagued with guilt and a hell of intense tortures and seeks solitude: deep, dark deathlike solitude. (alliteration) Nonetheless he fears that his absence from his remaining family puts them at risk: lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness. p.107

    38. Character Foils P.107 Elizabeth, whom I tenderly loved, and whose existence was bound up in mine. Victor and the monster are likewise linked inextricably because the monster is born of the human flaws of Victor and bears the scars of Victors impatience with Science and impropriety to his paternal guides; Alphonse and God. Victor is still haunted by the scaffold when he says: even if I were condemned to suffer on the scaffold I would not change places with such a wretch. Nonetheless, like the monster, Victor has become a wretch because, whilst surrounded by ..this land of peace and beauty nothing can chase away the fiend that lurked in my heart. p.109-110 This alludes to Miltons Paradise Lost and certainly ascribes to the romantic tradition.

    39. Alter Ego/Nemesis Eloquent Arguments The monster suggests that his murderous rampage came because he was excluded from humanity and earnestly wants to be virtuous if only he is allowed to be happy. p.118 He accuses his creator of wanting him dead which is a worse crime than he has committed. He demands that Victor hear his tale. He suggests that Victor has the power to control : whether I quit forever the neighborhood of man and lead a harmless life. Or become the scourge of your fellow creatures and the author of your own speedy ruin. p.120 Victor decides to listen as he feels the burden of creator to creature. This echoes the fact that Victors parents are responsible for directing him to: happiness or misery. p.28

    40. Monsters Story: Chapter III Initially we are introduced to his first encounters with the basics of life like clothing, food, shelter and warmth of fire, p.122-24 We find the reaction of others to the sight of him and therefore the emotions of exclusion that he feels at the barbarity of man. p.126 He retreats from man to the shelter of a barn where he witnesses a sublimated form of family and community that he yearns to engage with. He particularly enjoys the music played by a young girl that is: sweeter than the voice of the thrush or the nightingale. (Keats) Note: at this stage what he hears are sounds but he cannot understand words at this stage.p.130 I knew nothing of the Science of words or letters.

    41. Chapter IV: Agatha, Felix and the old man The monster longed to join, them but dared not. remembering the previous treatment the villagers had given him. He watched voyeuristically and is struck by the unhappiness that he detects as a result of their poverty, and they suffered this evil in a very distressing degree. He sees that the two younger cottagers give food the old man when they reserve none for themselves. This kindness moves him to refrain from stealing any more of their food instead relying on berries, nuts and roots and instead adding wood to their pile to help them anonymously P.132 He learnt the language by listening to them read to each other throughout that Winter. He imagined that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanor and conciliating words, I should first win their favour, and afterwards their love. These thoughts led to his appreciation of nature and joyful demeanor as Spring begins at the end of this chapter.

    42. Seeking the creator He then flees toward Ingolstadt, determined to confront his creator, Victor Frankenstein: on you only had I any claim for pity and redress. p.169 This is despite having read Victors creation diary p.157 This is similar to the claim that Roy Batty has on Tyrrell (his creator). Roy demands more life and Tyrrell gives him technical reasons explaining why this is not possible. For the monster he demands the attention of his maker and earthly companionship. Roy already has companionship in Pris. Note: after killing Eldon Tyrrell he has overreached his mortal role to kill God, as it were. In the final scene we see that his last acts show how he becomes almost Christ like. He is more human than human as Tyrrell had predicted and it is the hand with the stigmata that offers mercy and life to Deckard. He is the Byronic hero. This raises the question of why Deckard is saved? What makes him worthy of another chance when Victor feels that he is beyond hope.

    43. Seeking the creator On his way to encounter the creator he comes upon a young girl who slips into a raging river: with extreme labour he saved her and dragged her to shore. p.171 and was consequently shot by her companion when he found the monster attempting to revive the unconscious girl. He comes upon a beautiful child p.173 believing this child would be without prejudice and therefore able to provide him with companionship. Tragically and coincidentally it turns out to be young William Frankenstein out walking. When the boy repulses the monster's friendly overtures, and after discovering his association with his creator the monster kills him and exclaims with hellish triumph, I too can create desolation. p.174 Like Victor the monster also claims from his creator the power over life and death. Whilst for Victor it is life for the monster it is death. He is, after all the alter ego.

    44. Roy & the Monster This too we can see for Roy who first kills Tyrrell and then presumably Sebastien before turning his attentions to Deckard. Perhaps Deckard is spared because of Roys need achieve truth and beauty. The poetry of his last words suggests that he has achieved a sense of higher order thinking: All those moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain. Like a true romantic he is concerned with his legacy. He understands and wants to continue the hope of life and so he gifts it to Deckard. In this legacy he achieves eternity even if he personally will be denied it. He passes life on and through the cycle of nature achieves a sense of it. The monster gains insights into higher order thinking through Plutarch and Milton. He becomes the new Adam, dispossessed and disenfranchised just like Roy.

    45. The New Adam: Dispossessed and Disenfranchised He concludes his tale by proposing to Victor that only Victor's creation of a female of similar deformity will grant him the happiness he cannot find among humans. P.175 He seeks not happiness but companionship. He sees himself framed by the books he finds in Chapter VII p.154-57 including notably Paradise Lost. He sees himself embroiled in a fatal battle with his creator. He sees himself as: Like Adam unable to link to any other being in existence. He is pained because unlike Adam his creator had failed to make him in his own likeness. This created like Satan a bitter gall of envy. He therefore curses his creator and like Victor earlier usurps the power of creation in seeking the company of his Eve to soothe my sorrows and my thoughts.

    46. Victor's Story, Part II Victor returns to his family, more downhearted than ever and his father mistakenly thinks that it is because he has found a better match than Elizabeth and is tortured by his fathers desires to see the two of them happily wed. Victor assures his father: I love my cousin tenderly and sincerely.. and my future hopes and prospects are entirely bound up in our union. p.187 Victor needed the knowledge of the philosophers of England to fulfill the monster request so he told his father he needed some time away to restore himself before settling down with his wife. Alphonse organises Clerval to be his chaparone on this journey and all seems conveniently organised. P.189

    47. Nature and Gothic Castles When he meets Clerval in Strasbourgh he is haunted by the contrast that exists between them. Clerval was: alive to every new scene; whereas Victor feels: haunted by a curse that shut up every avenue to enjoyment. p.191 This juxtaposition continues when the landscapes they travel through are peppered with ruined castles nestled on precipices. The romantic landscape is marred by haunting images of gothic buildings as a reminder of the impending doom of Victor; P.192-93 This includes Edinburgh and its romantic castles. Nature is evoked in an allusion to the fateful use of lightning in the creation of the monster: I am a blasted tree; the bolt has entered my soul; p.199 the monster and Victor were separated through the creation process and their paths have been inexorably destined to fatally merge.

    48. Paths Merge Frankenstein, convinced that the monster has been following him is concerned more for Clerval than for his family back home: I thought that the fiend followed me, and might expedite my remissness by murdering my companion. p.201 He finally seeks solitude for his work on a remote island in the Scottish Orkneys. P.203 On a moonlit night his fears' are realized when he looks up from his work on the new creature to discover the monster peering at him by the light of the moon. through the window. Victor then tore to pieces the thing on which I was engaged. The monster left with a howl of devilish despair and revenge. and Victor vows never to resume my labours. p.208 The monster threatens him: you are my creator, but I am your master obey! When Victor is resolute to no longer bend beneath words. The monster taunts Victor with the threat: "I will be with you on your wedding night." We are then told that Victor walks around the isle: like a restless spectre. After completing the task of disposing of the body parts Victor sights land and upon reaching it is treated roughly and required to account for his movements as he is suspected of Clervals murder p.217

    49. Victor's Story, Part II On his return he marries Elizabeth, worried all the while about the monster's threat, "I shall be with you on your wedding night." He interprets this to mean that the monster will kill him. On the wedding night, however, the monster breaks into their room and kills Elizabeth. P.244-5 After he sees the monster staring through the window, grinning, Victor vows to seek revenge: the pale yellow light of the moon illuminate the chamber. With a sensation of horror I saw at the open window a figure the most hideous and abhorred. He shoots at the monster but misses. Then determines to pursue the monster. He returns to defend Alphonse and Ernest. The former died from grief after hearing of these latest tidings. For Victor chains and darkness were all that remained. He was trapped by the need for vengeance and was utterly alone as was his creation.

    50. fiendish laugh The last chapter begins with a solemnization of the pagan covenant of vengeance sworn to the magistrate. Victor appeals to nature and spirits but gets more than he bargained for as a loud and fiendish laugh punctuates the stillness of night. and the mountains re-echoed it. The fiend was there shadowing Victor as he had his entire life. Again at this moment of gothic horror the narrative voice of Victor tells us that: Suddenly the broad disk of the moon arose, and shone full upon his ghastly and distorted shape, as he fled with more than mortal speed. p.254

    51. Epitaph: tragedy Walton is left to write Victors epitaph: It is once more a tale to make your blood congeal with horror. In doing so we are given another nested story. We are told that the particulars of his creatures formation was impenetrable: Over him (Victors body) hung a form which I cannot find words to describe:- gigantic in stature, yet uncouth and distorted in its proportions. p.273 We still do not know what it looked like. Who actually saw it and lived to tell the tale? The tragedy of Victor is accentuated by his potential: When youngerI believed myself destined for some great enterprise but this thought now serves only to plunge me lower in the dust. p.264

    52. Walton Walton attempts to convince his crew that there is glory and honour to be gained by pursuing the quest of Victor. They are immured in ice but want to return south if the ice clears. Upon hearing that the boat was cleared and set on a course for England Victor attempts to rise and faints. When he wakes he is more philosophical and has a tone of acceptance and tempers his vengeance. P.271 He gives some parting advice: Seek happiness in tranquility , and avoid ambition.

    53. Closing Letters One week after his last letter to his sister, during which Frankenstein relates his story, Walton writes again to say that Frankenstein still intends to pursue the creature until he dies. Walton, too, is still determined to pursue his quest, although mountains of ice surround the ship and threaten to lock it in place. When his sailors ask to turn back, Walton consents to turn south. His final letter to his sister recounts Frankenstein's death and his dying advice to Walton to forego ambition and seek tranquility instead. Walton's grief over his new friend's death is interrupted by the appearance of the monster in Frankenstein's cabin, grieving over the death of his creator. The monster tells Walton how his vengeance had never been joyful to him, how he was unjustly treated by the humanity which had created him. Thus, though born in innocence and goodness, he became malignant evil. He now lives in remorse, alone. After having said all this, he springs from the cabin window and disappears across the ice.

    54. Robert Walton Walton's letters begin and end the novel, framing Victor's and the creature's narratives in such a way that Walton embodies the most important qualities found in both Victor and his creature. Walton, in other words, balances the inquisitive yet presumptuously arrogant nature of Victor with the sympathetic, sensitive side of the creature As an Arctic explorer, Walton, much like Victor, wishes to conquer the unknown. Nevertheless, when he discovers Victor near death on the icy, vast expanse of water, he listens to Victor's bitter and tormented tale of the creature. This makes him reconsider continuing his own mission to the possible peril of his crew. When the creature appears at Victor's deathbed, Walton fails to fulfill Victor's dying wish to destroy the creature. Instead, he does what Victor continually failed to do throughout the novel: he listens to the creature's anguished tale with compassion and empathy. This highlights Walton as Victors foil and also highlights his fatal flaw as Creator. The Creature is now free but without purpose will wander across the ice/nature to its oblivion.

    55. Linking closely to the Elective Texts in Time Before we launch into a closer look at the two texts, we need to be sure that our response stands firmly on the foundation of the module and Elective. The rubric and description of the Elective for Texts in Time states: MODULE A: Comparative Study of Texts and Context Elective 2: Texts in Time In this elective students compare how the treatment of similar content in a pair of texts composed in different times and contexts may reflect changing values and perspectives. By considering the texts in their contexts and comparing values, ideas and language forms and features, students come to a heightened understanding of the meaning and significance of each text. BOS, Syllabus Document, Prescriptions 2009-12

    56. Focus on Text Two points here: [S]tudents compare how the treatment of similar content in a pair of texts composed in different times and contexts may reflect changing values and perspectives. It is vital that you as a student are able to articulate not only the similarities (similar context) but the differences (different times and contexts). I would also not restrict yourself to simplistic assumptions implied by the rubric: Instead students should see that notions of contextual ideas and value are not outside the text but embedded within it. This means that you will focus much more strongly on the texts themselves as delivering their meaning.

    57. choose ideas judiciously and prioritise Thinking about BR and FTMP, what are some of these ideas and realms that the notion of Artifice versus Nature explores, in addition to the literal interpretation? Below are a number of ideas that may suit your argument. Hopefully these may interest and inspire your argument. However, as already discussed, because of the brevity of the time that you have available to discuss these two texts you will need to choose judiciously what to focus on and prioritise and what to leave out. There is little point technique-spotting for no purpose to your argument. A strong response needs to be guided by the connecting ideas of the two texts, which are supplemented by textual reference, quotation, and identification of the means by which meaning is made namely, filmic or literary techniques.

    58. Themes Alienation' and Loneliness Mary Shelley's emphasis on the Faust legend, or the quest to conquer the unknown at the cost of one's humanity, forms a central theme of the novel. The reader continually sees Victor favor his ambition above his friendships and family. Created by a German writer named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Faust myth suggested that the superior individual could throw off the shackles of traditional conventions and alienate himself from society. English Romantic poets, who assumed the status of poet-prophets, believed that only in solitude could they produce great poetry. Nonetheless both Victor and the monster are able to see the poetry of nature in their solitude when immersed in nature. For Frankenstein, however, isolation often leads to despair and the beauty of nature is lost and can only be reflected in the observance of others like Clerval. In such it is a matter of pain for him as he is isolated from that which is dear to him.

    59. Alienation Readers get the distinct feeling that Victor's inquisitive nature causes his emotional and physical peril because he cannot balance his intellectual and social interactions. For instance, when he leaves home to attend the University of Ingolstadt, he immerses himself in his experiment and forgets about the family who lovingly supported him throughout his childhood. Victor actually does not see his family or correspond with them for six years, even when his father and Elizabeth try to keep in touch with him by letters. Shelley's lengthy description of Victor's model parents contrasts with his obsessive drive to create the creature.

    60. Themes Alienation' and Loneliness Margaret's correspondence with Walton at the beginning of the novel also compares with Shelley's description of Victor's home life; both men were surrounded by caring, nurturing individuals who considered the welfare of their loved ones at all times. Not surprisingly, Walton's ambition to conquer the unknown moves him, like it does Victor, further away from civilization and closer to feelings of isolation and depression The creature, too, begins reading novels such as Goethe's The Sorrows of Werter and John Milton's Paradise Lost, claiming that an "increase of knowledge only [showed] what a wretched outcast I was." For the creature, an increase in knowledge only brings sorrow and discontent. Victor and Walton ultimately arrive at these two states because of their inquisitive natures. It is knowledge that leads Roy Batty in BR to feel despair. When he realises that his condition is limited by time, this causes cognitive dissonance. This is shared by Rachael and, when given the gift of time by Roy, even by Deckard.

    61. The creature: Tabula Rasa (Roy/Monster) John Locke, a famous eighteenth-century philosopher, invented the concept of the "Tabula Rasa," the idea that the mind is a "blank slate" when we are born. Most critics agree that Locke strongly influenced Shelley's characterization of the creature. She wanted her readers to understand how important the creature's social conditioning was to his development as a conscious being.

    62. Tabula Rasa The creature's environment, therefore, plays a critical role in shaping his reaction to and interaction with Victor during their first meeting. While the creature uses both rational and emotional appeals to convince Victor that he deserves and needs another being like himself to share his life with, he tries to emphasize Victor's duties as a creator. The creature eventually realizes that not only has Victor rejected him, the entire race of humankind abhors his imagean image resembling no one else in existence.

    63. Nature vs. Nurture The theme of nurturing, or how environment contributes to a person's character, truly fills the novel. With every turn of the page, another nurturing example contrasts with Victor's lack of a parental role with his "child," the creature. Caroline nurtures Elizabeth back to health and loses her own life as a result. Clerval nurtures Victor through his illness when he is in desperate need of a caretaker after the creature is brought to life. The De Lacey's nurturing home becomes a model for the creature, as he begins to return their love in ways the family cannot even comprehend. For instance, the creature stopped stealing the De Lacey's food after realizing their poverty. In sympathy, he left firewood for the family to reduce Felix's chores Each nurturing act contrasts strongly with Victor's gross neglect of the creature's needs. And by showing the affection between Caroline Frankenstein and her adopted daughters Elizabeth and Justine, Shelley suggests that a child need not have biological ties to a parent to deserve an abundance of love and attention.

    64. Duty and Responsibility Victor's inability to know his creature relates directly to his lack of responsibility for the creature's welfare or the creature's actions. The role of responsibility or duty takes many shapes throughout the story, but familial obligations represent one of the novel's central themes. Whether Caroline nurses Elizabeth or Felix blames himself for his family's impoverished condition, Victor's dismissal of his parental duties makes readers empathize with the creature. Victor only feels a sense of duty after the creature says the famous line, "How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind." The creature compares himself to Adamthus comparing Victor to Godand claims that Victor owes him a certain amount of happiness. Even though the creature temporarily convinces Victor to grant him his rights. Neither Victor nor Tyrrell ever really learn the virtues of parental or ethical responsibility. Tyrrell offers only superficial counseling: youve burnt so brightly Roy. Victor seems incapable of this much empathy.

    65. Justice vs. Injustice By showing how Victor ignores his responsibilities while those around him do not, Shelley invites the reader to judge his character. Themes of justice and injustice play a large role in the novel, as the author develops Issues of fairness and blame. Usually those characters who take responsibility for others and for their own actions are considered fair and Just For example, Elizabeth pleads Justine's case in court after Justine is accused of William's murder Victor knows the creature committed the crime, yet he does notor cannotreveal the creature's wrong doing.

    66. Justice vs. Injustice Victor's refusal to listen impartially to his creature says much about his character. Shelley suggests that Victor not only played God when he created the creature; he also unfairly played the role of judge and accuser. Victor's refusal to listen impartially to his creature says much about his character. Shelley suggests that Victor not only played God when he created the creature; he also unfairly played the role of judge and accuser. This is akin to Tyrrell and his refusal/inability to offer Roy an extended life. His insensitivity to Roys plight is comparative to Victors refusal to give the Monster a partner.

    67. Doppelganger/Alter Ego Many literary critics have noted the Doppelganger effectthe idea that a living person has a ghostly double haunting himbetween Victor and his creature Presenting Victor and the creature as doubles allows Shelley to dramatize two aspects of a character, usually the "good" and "bad" selves. Victor's desire to ignore his creature parallels his desire to disregard the darkest part of his self. The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud characterizes this "dark" side as the Id, while Carl Jung, another famous psychologist, refers to our "dark" side as the Jungian shadow. Jung claims that we all have characteristics we don't like about ourselves, yet these unsavory attributes stay with us like a shadow tailgating its leader. The creature represents Victor's "evil" shadow, just as Victor represents the creature's. When presented this way, It makes sense that so many readers confuse the creature and Victor by assuming that the creature is named Frankenstein. Perhaps it is?!

    68. Doppelganger/Alter Ego Both of these characters "alternately pursue and flee from one another... [L]ike fragments of a mind in conflict with itself," as Eleanor Ty observes in the Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography. But taken together as one person, Victor and his creature combine to represent the full spectrum of what it means to be humanto be joyful, compassionate, empathetic, and hateful, and also love humanity, desire knowledge, honor justice, fear the unknown, dread abandonment, and fear mortality. No other character in the novel assumes this range of human complexity. To a large extent it can be seen that in the hunter and hunted of both texts there is a strong bond. Both need the other to exist. When the hunt is over there truly is an existential dilemma. The monster disappears across the ice to die and Deckard no longer has a purpose and seeks a new sense of existence and purpose in exile with Rachel. He seeks the life and love that were denied Roy.

    69. Eyes/Visual In Frankenstein the eye is the first indicator of life and horror: I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open. It is the eyes of the replicants that give them away in the Voight-Kampff test. Interestingly Tyrrell is myopic (glasses), undercutting his position as a visionary. The Eye/I. Eyes are a very important motif throughout the film, and are central to the notion of identity. The line I see is often used at poignant and ironic moments in the dialogue. The red eyes of the owl. The reflective shot of the eye reflecting the fires spewing out of the LA urban cityscape at the beginning of the film. Tyrells gruesome death as well as his ironic myopia. (Note: symbolism of breaking glasses.) Perhaps it is moral short-sightedness and corporate greed as the singular profit focus that has resulted in the environmental disaster that has been inflicted on Earth. Certainly Tyrrell callously says: Rachael is an experiment nothing more. He then claims she is just part of a commercial purpose.

    70. Artifice and Life How then is the idea of artificial human forms treated in the two texts? In FTMP the nameless monster or creature is sidelined from society peripheral to the mainstream of the urban, social world, and forced to wander amongst nature. Nature meanwhile in BR is never seen the entire film is set amongst degenerating urban landscapes, continuously dark and continuously soaked in acid rain (a key environmental concern during the 1980s). We only ever see glimpses of the sun at the top of Tyrells building, in his personal apartment, which lies above the clouds. Clearly the natural world and the artificial world have come together in Ridley Scotts vision of 2019, and the artificial world has prevailed.

    71. Natural vs Artificial The natural versus the artificial is a universal idea that stems from the myths of Classical Greece and Rome. It is the idea that lies at the heart of Shakespeares The Tempest. We should examine the relationship between Dr. Frankensteins fascination with his subject matter, and the matter-of-factness with which Tyrell treats his creations. What is the relationship between human nature and artificial human nature in the two texts? Clearly in BR we have another level added in the open question of Deckards identity, which thus plays with the audiences understanding of themselves and the identification which they have invested in the films protagonist.

    72. Other Ideas (p.16-20 Notes) The unconscious symbolism of dreams. The opposing position on Science the Enlightenment view. Nature the environment. Nature nature framed and controlled for mans benefit. Nature as restorative, comforting, healing force. The taming and control of nature. Artificially created Nature as savage and dangerous. Philosophical Frameworks. Textual Structure. Nature as Being, essence and identity. Science as somehow value free. Human nature and its social control. Human nature and its replication. Human Nature and the notion of a soul. Human Natures organic, environmental nexus.

    73. Writing the Module A Response One of the most frequent frequently asked questions about the Module A Comparative Response is How do I relate the two texts together? This is followed by a range of suggested options such as dealing with the two texts separately then relating them at the end, dealing with both at the same time all the time, or dealing with both one idea at a time. There is no definitive answer to this question, as all are acceptable. Indeed, this is really the wrong question to ask, because it concerns only the surface form of a students response, and not the content of that response. The BOS, in an effort to demonstrate to students that it is not the form so much as the content of the essay that is being assessed, have published on their website a number of examples of Band 6 and borderline Band 5/6 sample responses that through the variety of approaches taken by students demonstrate this fact. Nonetheless considering the syllabus requires an integrated understanding of language and text and also requires that you demonstrated a clear understanding of how context influenced the values and ideas in both texts, some degree of integration could make your response seem more sophisticated. You are attempting to convince the examiner that you have a thorough and fluent understanding of how both texts intersect through their respective contexts and values. You should give equal treatment to both texts.

    74. knowledge is power How do BR and FTMP handle these questions through the two mediums of the gothic science fiction novel and the science fiction film/film noir? How we relate to the natural and human world through our intellectual mastery of it goes back to the early stirrings of the enlightenment and Francis Bacons assertion that knowledge is power in his Essays of 1625. This hegemony of the mental over the material was then crystallized 16 years later in the thinking of French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes, who gave scientific credence and logical proof to the mandate (that stemmed back to biblical times) for man to conquer the world (Descartes is directly quoted in Blade Runner). Interestingly, Deckards name is a phonological form of Descartes.

    75. Similarities and Differences By considering the texts in their contexts and comparing values, ideas and language forms and features, students come to a heightened understanding of the meaning and significance of each text. Ideas can be similar but still retain key differences across the two texts. For instance in both BR and FTMP we have the notion of a scientist who creates the artificial life forms, but the nature and purpose of those creations is utterly different in the two texts. This is an example of ideas being similar and different at once. It is through your close examination of these similarities and differences that you will need to examine the language forms and features of the two texts, in order to make your points with close reference to the actual substance of the text its language forms and features (including cinematic ones) from which it is constituted.

    76. Historical Contexts: of Frankenstein Socio-Political, Cultural and Economic Contexts of Frankenstein Aside from the personal context of Mary Wollstonecraft, we should examine the broader social and intellectual contexts of The Enlightenment, The period immediately following the French Revolution, and Romanticism.

    77. Science, The Age of Reason, and The Enlightenment (Cautionary) Many social theorists, scientists and philosophers were championing the notion of science as a rational means of apprehending the universe. This form of philosophy challenged the notion of Christianity as the expression of a benign God who was watchful over his creation, and instead substituted it for the notion of a clockwork mechanism, who workings God had given Man the facility to apprehend. This version of the Universe was celebrated by the Deists. The Deist movement took the view that God was non-interventionist, and while creator if the known universe, had left it up to us to decide what use we would make of it, and how we would understand it. This positivistic philosophy, based on the fundamental principles of Newton and others (like his contemporary Leibniz, and predecessors Copernicus and Galileo) is sharply critiqued in the novel. Science does not lead to light and reason, but to destruction. This notion of meddling with natures laws is still very much with us today, with debates about global warming, stem-cell research, the cloning of humans, robotics and nano-technology and its concomitant dangers.

    78. Post Revolutionary France The French Revolution of 1789 had ushered in the possibility of a new world order being established in Europe not on the basis of Monarchist lines of succession and the old view that they represented, but the new model of democratic and scientific government. This however was not to be the case. The French Revolution descended into the Jacobin Terror and many of the former revolutionaries were purged and murdered, and followed by the new tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    79. Romanticism Romanticism is a key underlying theme of the novel, as Mary Shelley was married to a famous Romantic poet (who is usually the person referred to when the word Shelley is used by itself). She also during her exile in Europe mixed extensively with other Romantics like Lord Byron, and during her childhood the family home of the Godwins had been frequented by none other than Coleridge. Romanticism is a key intellectual context underlying the entire text the idea of finding solace in nature, of the cruelty and injustice of society, of the search within oneself for God and the truth (in a sense the Monster respect for Frankenstein his God fits this notion well), and of abiding appreciation for the simplest natural beauty.

    80. Early Gothic Forms The first novel that was later identified as Gothic was Horace Walpoles Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story in 1764. The Castle of Otranto, like many other Gothic novels, is set in a medieval society, has a lot of mysterious disappearances as well as other supernatural occurrences. The main protagonist is usually a solitary character who has an egocentric nature. Even though the genre is a phase in the Romantic movement, it is regarded as the forerunner of the modern mystery or science fiction novel. Similarities to FTMP Many of the above mentioned elements appear in Frankenstein. For example, nature is used frequently to create atmosphere. The bleak, glacial fields of the Alps and the mists of the Arctic serve to indicate the isolation of the two protagonists. The solitary character in Frankenstein can apply to both Victor as well as his creation as they both live their lives in social isolation.

    81. Exploration of Human Psyche Although Gothic novels were written mainly to evoke terror in their readers, they also served to show the dark side of human nature. They describe the "nightmarish terrors that lie beneath the controlled and ordered surface of the conscious mind." Surprisingly, there were a vast number of female Gothic authors. It is not unlikely that this kind of fiction provided a release for the "submerged desires of that . . . disadvantaged class." The Gothic genre also extends to poetry. Poems by Coleridge and Keats ("Christabel" and "Eve of St. Agnes" respectively) deal with "the fantastic . . . and the exploration of the unconscious mind".

    82. This is Deckard to Rachael in Tyrells apartment, near the beginning of the film. Rachael doesnt know (or believe) shes a replicant yet. Note the sun one of the two times we see daylight in the entire film is up on the level of Tyrells apartment. Ridley SCOTT Blade Runner

    83. Scotts Filmic Techniques Genre film noir and sci-fi The film comes out of a mixture of two filmic genres modern Science Fiction films (made possible with the technology instigated in Stanley Kubricks 2001), and film noir, which centres on the lonely outcast detective as protagonist, a hunter who is attempting to find and catch the criminal (in this case the rogue replicants) through an impersonal mass society that renders the individual invisible

    84. Deckard is the undercover detective who functions as the noir protagonist to lead the viewer towards the goal of justice in a morally shady world. However Scott in the Directors Cut undercuts a clear moral framework of good versus evil, and by the end of the film calls Deckards own identity into question.

    85. Hollywood conventions In Blade Runner The Producers Cut (1982), the original version complete with occasional first person monologues from Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, we are drawn into a far closer, more personal relationship with Deckard the protagonist. We are with him as he seeks to find and destroy the replicants, as his goal and mission, along the way finding an ironic love relationship with a machine the replicant Rachael.

    86. Deckard a replicant? The suggestion that Deckard himself may be a replicant was strongly dismissed by the studio executives, as this endangered the relationship with the audience that was crucial for audience success and therefore profit to be made on the film (it is the producers job, amongst other things, to make sure that at the end of the films run that a profit is turned, so that the films backers can be repaid, and the film executives can also get their cut.)

    87. A hammer? Also according to Hollywood scripting conventions, a film also needs to follow the quest format, which it largely does, but the success of this quest is undermined by the questioning of Deckards identity. In the Directors Cut, the idea that we have been identifying with a protagonist who is philosophically related to a hammer only by a degree of sophistication (as a replicant he is a tool made for human use), brings our own human identity into question. If we can identify ourselves with a machine are we ourselves then also a machine?

    88. Specific Film Techniques Schools teach film to death nowadays, and I do not propose to look at Bladerunner frame by frame, as most of you should by now know what a close-up, a tracking shot and shot-reverse shot (for conversations) is. I will touch on a few techniques before we look at a couple of clips from the film. Diegetic and non-diegetic sound (sound indigenous to the films narrative, and sound-track imposed on it to add emotional tone) is cleverly confused by Scott in Rachels scene (which we will look at), as her playing of the piano blends into Vangeliss sound-track, the natural blending in with the artificial, which is in fact what the sequence is representing the confusion of replicant and human (recall at this point we do not yet think that Deckard may himself be a replicant). Tracking and panoramic panning shots over the landscape of Los Angeles in the opening sequence. This sets the scene of LA 2019, and the idea of global ecological destruction is immediately established.

    89. Specific Film Techniques Shot-reverse shot for the Voigt-Kampff test sequence, the Sebastian-Pris-Batty sequence and the sequence showing the murder of Tyrell in his apartment. Sources of light. As most of the film is shot at night (it is after all film noir, literally, black, or dark, film) look at the lighting sources and points of light Pace of editing. The film, despite being a hunt is quite meditative and slow-paced. This is fairly typical of the film noir genre, but it also helps focus our attention on the underlying issues without having to continuously follow an entertaining racy plot. Consult any glossary of film terms available to you at school or on the web. There are countless numbers of them. While film techniques are necessary for this Elective response, you should be sprinkling them through your analysis.

    90. cuculoris N.B. In lighting for film, theatre and still photography, a cuculoris (occasionally also spelled cucoloris, kookaloris or cucalorus) is a device for casting shadows or silhouettes to produce patterned illumination. Many "old-school" grips would say that any unnatural pattern used to create a shadow is a cookie.

    91. Socio-Political, Cultural and Economic Context of BR Acid rain and environmental degradation. Impact on the environment. Beginnings of awareness of the effects of global warming on weather patterns (the continuous darkness and rain). Globalisation corporations taking over the environment the giant floating TV screens. Cultural post-modernist mash-up mix of cultures, foods, languages. Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, German and by the Hispanic-looking Gaff, colloquial Hungarian are all spoken in LA 2019AD. The fears of technology overtaking human abilities. Genetic engineerings ability to replicate nature. The merging of technology and biology. This is happening now: Prosthetic implants are merging with humans, and with genome technology will become a natural extension.

    92. Socio-Political, Cultural and Economic Context of BR The creation of robots as servants and companions (the friends that Sebastian makes). Note that the robot that Honda has built is only just over a metre high, similar to the ratio of the size of Sebastians. Imagine how wed feel about these new robots if they towered over us at 3 or more metres high, or even were the size of Frankensteins monster. Super-humans eugenics will be possible very soon. You will be able to write a baby according to its genome specifics of hair and eye colour (cf. the Cambodian lady examining the snake skin cells under an electron microscope in the street market. In amongst the animal cells is a serial number for the maker.) These pose profound ethical questions for society at what point does being human, and the sanctity and religious connection that this stable notion have lose that boundary? What happens to our notion of human identity? Is it no longer sacrosanct?

    93. Some philosophical ideas springing from Bladerunner On a deeper level, the film is essentially an investigation into what being is, what it is to be human. Along the line of this investigation, Scott takes the opposite road to arrive at the same focal point what is it not to be human. One of the key tests to identify a replicant is the Voigt Kampff test which Holden gives to Leon in the opening sequences of the film:

    94. ACTIVITY: SCENE ANALYSIS Bladerunner Excerpt 1: (DVD Chapter 1, approx 4 30) The aim, mood and thrust of the film, and the nature of human-replicant relations is established immediately after the setting sequence of LA 2019, during Holdens interview with the replicant Leon and his setting of the Voigt-Kampff test:

    95. Bladerunner Excerpt 2 & 3: (DVD Chapter 11, approx 30 30, & DVD Chapter 22) In these two scenes between Rachael and Deckard we get a very different presentation of the inner emotional life of a replicant clearly Rachael is wracked by emotion and feeling as to who she is, and her care for Deckard. Scott is thus beginning the process whereby the clearly defined distinction between what is human and what is not is blended and confused.

    96. Deckards identity The question of Deckards identity has also been put under question since Bryant holds something over him at the beginning of the assignment, after Holden is killed by Leon. Deckard is an undercover cop (apart from referencing Descartes, decken is German for cover), but he could also be a skin-job, a cover of skin that replicates a human but is not one. The love attachment between Deckard and Rachael infers this confusion of identity. Love itself is a merging of identities, symbolised by the physical act of sex but Scott is playing with the audiences expectations and prejudices here. (Look at the way Deckards head emerges from behind Rachaels towards the end of the love-scene in DVD Chapter 22. It is clearly designed by Scott to imply their linkage and sameness.)

    97. Rachael How does Scott get the audience to empathise and emote with Rachael? We are seeing on the one hand a man fall in love with a machine; on the other two machines making love. How do the moist eyes of Rachael, the music of Vangelis and the situation presented make us empathise emotionally with the relationship between Deckard and Rachael? And what does that say about us, the viewer?

    98. Bladerunner Excerpt 4: (DVD Chapter 23 & 24 The scene of Priss and Roys entrance into Sebastians flat elicits Priss quotation of Descartes (from whom Deckards name is derived as a second pun) famous statement that defines human identity), put most famously in Latin - cogito ergo sum (although Descartes originally wrote it in French je pense, donc je suis), which Pris puts in English to Sebastian I think, Sebastian, therefore I am. Descartes saw the clear dividing line that existed between humans and animals as the ability to think self-reflexively about oneself to ask questions like Who am I? What am I doing here? Why do I exist? This ontological conclusion cogito ergo This is from the Second Meditation of Descartes Meditations, published in 1641

    99. Film Techniques Provide a new reading Batty as a machine should therefore fall into the former category he should just be responding automatically to the environment. But Batty is constantly asking questions, and Priss quotation of Descartes clearly challenges the notion of replicants as non-human beings or somehow less than human. In fact in this scene we are presented with a picture of two lively and sexual beings of Pris and Batty, alive to the world, their own needs and survival, and to their own awareness of themselves and existence, yet who are replicants, while the human Sebastian looks to be near to death, and has little questioning or self-awareness and merely does the biddings of his master and overlord Tyrell. Scott is therefore playing ironically with this distinction that Descartes created to define the line between the human and non-human, and showing how replicants can cross that boundary. We the audience, while engaged within Hollywood conventions that tell us to side with the humans (who are after all, us) against the replicants, are constantly pushed against that view by Scotts cinematography.

    100. Replicants are therefore not just skin-jobs. Indeed Scott seems to be suggesting that this pejorative tag is akin to a kind of racism a distinction between replicants as being the other, as different to humans, and therefore needing the euphemistically named retirement. Scott ironically turns historical paradigms on their head, as he presents Batty and Pris with an Aryan look (Batty is played by the German actor Rutger Hauer). Replicants are no more than slave labour, and if they break the rules, as they have done by coming to earth, they are to be ruthlessly exterminated. Scott plays with our categorisation of them as the Baddies, by naming their leader Batty (Baddie), ironically pointing out our tendency to fall into Hollywood script conventions with clearly identified goodies and baddies (in Westerns these used to be represented by the cowboys in white hats versus the ones in black hats just so you didnt get confused).

    101. bermensch Nietzsches ideas of the bermensch were twisted and perverted to racial ends under Hitlers theories of a master-race. In Bladerunner it is the replicants who are bermenschlich superhuman-like with their increased physical and mental agility, as well as their sensitivity and alertness to the feelings of others (witness Priss Machiavellian seduction of Sebastian, or Roys genuine despair at Priss death), and the Aryan looks of Pris and especially Roy Batty set them apart. Here Scott has made the replicants the ones who are being exterminated or euphemistically retired, and this is logical: since their abilities far outdo human capabilities they pose a grave threat. It was for this reason that their design has had encoded within their genetic make-up a four-year life span.

    102. Bladerunner Excerpt 5: (DVD Chapter 25 & 26, 27 to 1:2357) This brings us to the Biblical allusions in the murder of Tyrell sequence. The contextual features here bring us to both an allusion to Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and the Gothic novel with the motifs of the separated apartment, the dark hues and blacks, the owl, the all-seeing and reflexive eye, and a gothic symbol of night (recall that it is always night in the film) and the Judas Kiss and betrayal of Jesus, in Battys kissing of God (or son of God) and subsequent murder of his God we have a key Nietzschean reference to the idea of the death of God.

    103. Battys return to Tyrells apartment Battys return to Tyrells apartment is indeed an allegory for the return of the prodigal son, but he has come not to put his riotous living behind him and seek a new life in his fathers house, but to seek the extension of his old, given life and evade death. When God cannot provide that (as the coding sequence cannot be revised once its been established), his only motive left is revenge and anger. Here Batty becomes somewhat like one of the mythical Greek gods superhuman, but prone to irrational human emotions on a larger scale. His murder of Tyrell and then Sebastian serves no logical purpose other than to express his anger and fury at being denied life. (Battys rescue of Deckard at the end indicates a further link between replicant and human, and adds further evidence for the case of Deckards identity being similarly non-human.) Battys spearing of his hand with a nail to keep himself alive alludes similarly to the idea of Batty being a son of god.

    104. Social Structure The replicants are superhuman beings who have been tied to their mortality to keep them enslaved to human ends Pris covering herself (earlier, to gain entrance to Sebastians apartment) in newspaper to make out to Sebastian that she is homeless is symbolic of this enforced role. At the other end of the social hierarchy (a hierarchy symbolised by the Tyrell Corporation buildings pyramid-like shape) the ironic vignette is presented of the wandering scavengers who appear briefly after Tyrells murder. The mutated-looking Vandals speak squeaky German as they work out whether to vandalise Deckards car:

    105. Vandals This little comic moment is playfully ironic. The historical Vandals were originally a wandering Germanic tribe of the 6th-8th centuries AD, who wandered Europe in a big anti-clockwise arc via France, Spain, Italy and north again, probably picking up bits and pieces from the remnants of the Roman Empire, which had been sacked in 453AD. They would have spoken an Old German dialect similar to Anglo-Saxon or Old English. In Blade Runner, the Vandals do pretty much the same thing, except now the Empire is America, and they speak squeaky modern German, and are midgets.

    106. Vandals This little scene is symbolic of the ruin that Western culture has fallen to, under rampant global capitalism. We have seen the background of the environment utterly destroyed, bereft of life from the very opening shots of the film; here we see culture reduced to a bunch of mutated dwarf Germans, ripping off random bits of metal from the rooves of parked cars. Such a small thing as the lump of metal that they tear off the roof of the car assumes such an importance to the scavengers that they argue and fight over it after Deckard drives off, displaying the level to which these mutant scavengers have fallen. The modern urban metropolis is a picture of a kind of hell to which humanity has fallen. There is no doubt where Ridley Scott is pointing the finger to, in attributing the cause for our fall.

    107. Bladerunner Excerpt 6: (DVD Chapter 32, 33, 34) Roys own death and allusions to theories of time and change at the end of the film point both to Heraclituss philosophy and back to Heideggerian phenomenology via Descartes: Roy: All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain (dies) Roys short life span of four years seems horrendous to us; but a human life is also relatively short in the grand scheme of things absurdly short when compared to geological time. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus speaks of never stepping into the same river twice, to point out that all things are in a constant state of flux and motion, and in fact this is what gives life its extraordinary variety and beauty, which Batty comments on. But beings in the world are also subject to that same flux, and are also not permanent, yet deluded, often think themselves so. It is out of such delusion that the philosophical quest is born, a quest for the three highest values of Beauty, Goodness and Truth.

    108. Poetic end Heraclitus goes further in pointing out that we ourselves do not step into a river the same person twice. This is an extraordinary perception for a human reflecting on the world nearly 2,500 years before the invention of the electron microscope. The flux of the human body (which is very much like a river, with its tubes and channels of flowing blood and lymph and nervous electrical impulses) is identical with the flux of a replicant body, and Batty is reflecting on this profound philosophical truth, after saving Deckards life, with deep pathos and truth. Scotts long take at this point forces us to meditate on the truth of flux, change and ultimate death, for only a few seconds before we were witnessing a living, speaking and cognizing Batty, and now we see a dead corpse, its spirit (symbolised by the dove) now departed. We the audience have forgotten that we were just listening to a machine, because we share the poetry of his experience in our common existence with him. For excerpts from Heraclitus works see Early Greek Philosophy, ed Jonathon Barnes, Penguin Classics, (revised 2001) pg48-73

    109. Cartesian figure Roy is also profoundly Cartesian figure (Following the philosophy of Descartes) he is constantly questioning, questing and doubting the ideas of the world that have been presented to him as a replicant with a four year life span. This is closely allied to Descartes postulation of the world as that presented by the Devil, an entrapment or illusion, out of which we can only find our true selves by self-reflection, doubting and reasoning. It is by thinking and reflecting that I come to an understanding of who I am I think therefore I am cogito ergo sum. Batty is in a sense Descartes, and therefore a parallel to Deckard. Both are questing, both have no certainty as to their identity (look at Deckards examination of his own photographs as well as Rachaels.) Indeed Batty the Baddy and Deckard the Good guy are merely mirror opposites of each other.

    110. Existential Philosophical Links: Furthermore, Battys reference to transitory phenomena in his dying speech references not only Heideggers notion of care (Sorge) but the concept of throwness (Geworfenheit). Scott cleverly confuses the wanderings of the replicants with those of humans (Deckards matches Zhoras in the long chase scene, as hunter matches prey; Deckard and Rachael escape North, an indeterminate destination that sets them wandering, thrown out of their stable existence into movement). These features of life of Time, Throwness and Being are commonly shared by replicants and humans alike. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Being and Time), his 1926 philosophical masterwork

    111. Existentialism Being is already constituted in the world, it is never separate from it, and this leads the self-questioning individual to seek his authentic existence through the consistent analysis of his relationship with it. This philosophical questioning is often seen in the wondering and wandering figures of the replicants, particularly Roy, as they seek their own survival and way out of the chains of mortality that have been imposed upon them by their maker Tyrell. It is a peculiarly ironic paradox that the search for Being that the replicants quest for (an extension of their life span) is essentially philosophical. This raises the question then: Are they no longer hammers but now humans? Have they transcended their toolness? Their thoughts and actions are all directed at personal liberation they seek to liberate themselves from slavery to the humans who made them and in doing so their quest becomes in fact metaphysical search for self.

    112. This question of identity can also be explored through the notion of the mirror and Lacanian psychological theory, which holds that identity is formulated through the reflection of the self to the self. Many commentators have pointed out the visual links between Deckard and Batty. This also goes back to the notion of watching a film. We watch to become entranced by a figure that represents some aspect of ourselves. Scott is playing with this Lacanian idea by having his audience identify with a machine.

    113. Knowledge is Power Francis Bacon first coined the phrase Knowledge is Power in his Essays (1625), and it is this scientific knowledge that inevitably leads to the pragmatic and commercial development of technologies that give us power over our environment. If we look around our modern urban world (and increasingly rural world also), we see how scientific discovery has led to technology which has been put into our hands to create a world that reigns above the world and controls it. What Scott is warning us though is that the mindless application of technology on the natural world without thought for the consequences may generate outcomes that we do not intend nor wish for, such as coming into possession of a ruined and degraded environment, and the questioning of our human identity. While it may serve our purposes to create replicant humans, the unintended consequence may be to threat the very notion of our human existence (note how the off-world colonies are continuously being advertised, and earth has become a hell-like environment, a pit of fire, as the opening sequence shows.)

    114. I make friends, Sebastians loneliness. Kafka was the first writer to really explore how the modern technological state can serve to alienate and disconnect us from our environment. While Pris quotes Descartes, Sebastians notion of being is of a lonely and downtrodden individual. Who are these toys that he surrounds himself with? Sebastian ironically claims I make friends, i.e. he literally creates artificial beings who are his friends. The pathos of Sebastians character is not only in his disease but the fact that technology has led him to be a social outcast. His vulnerability to Priss seduction, who is also a non-human, gives the audience a heart shuddering warning about enslavement to technology. While Sebastian has some measure of power over the replicants (he asks them to show him something, what they can do, and Pris shows backflips and Roy removes an egg from boiling water by hand), ultimately they have the intellectual and physical power over him in the game of brinkmanship. The game of chess with Tyrell becomes symbolic thus of the way that humans now meet, on a purely technological, intellectual and soulless level. Roy controls Sebastien. A precursor to controlling the maker.

    115. Intertextuality Both texts make inter-textual reference to Miltons epic poem. For instance in Shelleys Frankenstein the following lines from Miltons text are found on the title page of the novel: Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me Man, did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me? John Milton's Paradise Lost, (Book X, 743745) Adams resentment towards God as he bemoans his fallen condition is similar to the monsters ill-will towards his maker Victor (an ill will that creates an obsession similar to Battys search for access to Tyrell in Blade Runner). Both texts reference a range of other texts within the main text of film and epistolary novel. This notion of texts in time also creates achronological, ahistorical notion of time, into the realm of ideas.

    116. The question of Time itself Christophe Gauthiers brilliant analysis of Blade Runner (supported by the University of Lyon) looks closely at the question of Time and Being, adopting both a semiotic approach via Derrida and Levinas, and an Ontological-Existential analysis from a Heideggarian perspective, to the task of interpreting the significance the relationship of the replicants quest for being and the limitation of time that they have:

    117. Linking to the Exam Question = link to the keyword(s), link to its realm Remember that a prepared essay regurgitated in the exam is not enough to get you into the top band. These memorised essays are easily spotted by the fact that they only very rigidly, abruptly or circumstantially come in contact with the question. On the other hand, you do not have time in 40 minutes to construct an essay from nothing for the first time. Therefore you will need to tailor what you know and what you have practised to fully engage with the question. Each of the points that you make must always implicitly convey the sense that you are addressing the question.

    118. Linking to the Exam Question = link to the keyword(s), link to its realm Implicitly is the keyword here. While you should make occasional reference to the terms of the Module and Elective, an essay that mentions Texts in Time, text and context or any other buzz word at the end of every second sentence demonstrates a student who is not confident enough to leave these frameworks as a given and move into the substance of the textual ideas, rather like a poor swimmer who is always stuck on the edge of the pool, afraid to explore the depths of the pool. If you really know this material you will be able to answer any question that is presented to you in the exam

    119. Example Question: Supposing the question was: How does a comparative study of BR and FTMP throw light on the concept of the outsider, and what does this show about the relationship of texts and context? In your response make detailed reference to your TWO prescribed texts. Then you would make/address the following points: Outsider as Frankenstein, and the Outsider as the monster. (a) How do we know this? (b) From whose point of view? (c) How does Shelleys text convey this? (d) When do our sympathies switch to the monster?

    120. Example Question: Outsider as Replicants. (a) How do we know this? (b) From whose point of view? (c) How does Scotts text convey this? (d) When do our sympathies switch to the replicants (eg. when Batty saves Deckard)?

    121. Is Nature the outsider? Cautionary Tale Is Nature the outsider? raped in BR, a solace from society in FTMP. How is the concept of Being and otherness construed in such a way as to be viewed as other the disconnection of selves in BR. The notion of the young scientist disaffected by his curiosity and yearning to create and understand nature, that then deems him an outsider / the idea of Tyrell the creator as himself an exiled outsider his self-imposed exile at the top of the ziggurat of his corporation. The two composers as outsiders (Shelleys flight from England, disavowed even by her liberal father Charles Godwin) and Ridley Scotts argument with Hollywood producers against the importation of a voice-over into the film. The idea of the Enlightenment philosophy that had its roots just prior to FTMP and is portrayed in the dystopic terms and environmental consequences of its system of belief, as fundamentally flawed. (Rhetorical conclusion: The notion of a paradigm change that is needed from the Enlightenment view, if we are to save planet Earth now.)

    122. Important Note: Whilst film techniques are vital for the way in which Scott conveys his ideas, they are just that a means for the conveyance of ideas. Its the ideas you want to get at. You need to discuss purpose in context. Remember that the techniques are only part of the picture. It may be a good idea to find out about the context of the making of the film. To do this you should look closely at aspects of writing and production in the making of the film. You should be familiar with Dangerous Days: http://www://youtube.com/watch?v=0FILr9sz6eY Notes:

    123. Science fiction Science fiction explores "the marvels of discovery and achievement that may result from future developments in science and technology". Mary Shelley used some of the most recent technological finding of her time to create Frankenstein. She has replaced the heavenly fire of the Prometheus myth with the spark of newly discovered electricity. The concepts of electricity and warmth led to the discovery of the galvanisation process, which was said to be the key to the animation of life. Indeed, it is this process which animates Frankenstein's monster.

    124. For Further Study Chris Baldick, 1n Frankenstein's Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing, Oxford University Press, 1987 Treats Frankenstein as a modern myth and examines the effects of the book on later nineteenth-and twentieth-century writers. Sandra GIlbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic, The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary 1magination, Yale University Press, 1979. A feminist and psycho-biographical reading which emphasizes the place of books in the novel. M A Goldberg, "Moral and Myth in Mrs Shelley's Frankenstein, in Keats-Shelley Journal, Vol 8, 1959, pp 27-38. Provides the most conventional reading of Frankenstein's tale as a moral lesson to Walton. George Levine, "Frankenstein and the Tradition of Realism," in Novel, Vol 7, Fall, 1973, pp. 14-30 Discusses the place of Frankenstein in the tradition of realism in the novel. George Levine and U C. Knoepflmacher, The Endurance of 'Frankenstein, ' University of California Press, 1979. A wide-ranging collection of essays about the novel. Anne K. Mellor, Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters, Methuen, Inc., 1988. As one of the most well-known Shelley critics, Mellor draws from unpublished archival material, studying the relationships between Mary and the central personalities in her life Her biography contains a powerful warning to parents who do not care for their children and to scientists who refuse to take responsibility for their discoveries. Masao Miyoshi, The Divided Self, A Perspective on the Literature of the Victorians, New York University Press, 1969, pp 79-89.

    125. For Further Study Discusses the Doppelganger, or double, in Frankenstein. Ellen Moers, Literary Women, Doubleday, 1976, pp. 91-99 Examines the pain of maternity in Frankenstein, relating the birth of the monster to Shelley's birth and her experiences as a mother. Christopher Small, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein,' University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973. A wide-ranging examination of Shelley, her father and husband, the novel, and her era. Emily W. Sunstein, Mary Shelley Romance and Reality Little, Brown, and Co., 1989 A comprehensive biography winch assigns Shelley her proper place among English Romantic Writers. She dispels many of the myths and ill-founded prejudices against Shelley. MartIn Tropp, Mary Shelley's Monster, Houghton Mifflin, 1976. A more popular treatment of the novel winch emphasizes the "Mad Scientist" theme and treats film adaptations. Includes a filmography. William Veeder, Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. The Fate of Androgyny, University of Chicago Press, 1986 Includes in an appendix Percy Shelley's unpublished review of the novel. Sources Steven Earl Forry, Hideous Progenies. Dramatizations of 'Frankenstein' from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, introduction by Diane Johnson, Bantam Books, 1991. Montague Summers, The Gothic Quest, Russell & Russell, 1964. Eleanor Ty, "Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley," in Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, Volume 3, Writers of the Romantic Period, 1789-1832, Gale, 1991, pp 338-52.