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Fahrenheit 451 And Blade Runner: How Science Fiction Pre-warn Us?

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Intro

‘Robots won’t replace us because we still need that human touch’ Finkel’s law gives insight into the reason why human beings will never be entirely replaced by robots, our natural instinct still needs human touch. Fahrenheit 451 and Blade runner are both set in a futuristic era’s that attempt to describe the devastating repercussions of dehumanisation and lack human connection. The film and novel both resonate, clash and relate to each other, This is shown through the connection and representation of science fiction concepts.

Bladeruner

· Dehumanisation

Blade runner attempts to answer the important question of ‘what does it mean to be human’. The new invention of androids makes this question clear. A test of empathy, ‘window to the soul’. This test tries to distinguish the androids from humans. ‘The designer reckoned after a few years, they might develop their own emotional responses. You know hate, love, fear, anger, envy. So, they built a failsafe device.’ This is an action to make sure that the android doesn’t appear more human then human by only giving them a four-year life span. Eve when this is the motto of Tyrell corporation that make the android.

The fake is idolised in Bladeruner, as a real animal is seen a status symbol and fake animal’s. This is juxtaposed to where the fake is also idolised on social media and can be seen as a status symbol. The motto used by Tyrell corporation ‘more human than human’ show a prominent example of how the android are idolised.

Happiness is chased as a state of being whereas in Fahrenheit happiness is considered distraction. In both these texts happiness seems to be the goal, but happiness is a distorted ‘have you ever retired a human by mistake’ this is the question that Rachel asks Deckard. This can be seen as how easy it is to mistake a human from a replicant and what differentiates a replicant from an android.

George Orwell ‘Big brother is watching’, is a symbol and government power and widespread surveillance. In Bladeruner surveillance is everywhere in the city of los Angeles the city is filled with chaos and Tyrrell corporation use their power to use surveillance to watch the replicants. The can also relate to the matrix where surveillance is used to monitor individuals this is also a system where freedom or privacy is accepted.

· Human Connection

Technology is used to satisfy human needs, the main similarity is the excessive use of escapism/self – medication, lack of empathy and the use of technology to satisfy human needs.

Eye motif is one used excessively throughout Bladeruner. The Voight – Kampff f test is a test of empathy used to identify android through a series of questions to test empathy. The eyes are regarded as ’windows to the soul’ and the eyes unconsciously demonstrate genuine emotion which is used during Bladeruner. This is juxtaposed as today we are told that no matter what face you put in in any situation, the best to know if someone is being genuine is to investigate their eyes to see their real emotional state. Eyes are also the main connection between two individuals and the empathize for effective social interaction.

Painful to live in fear isn’t it. – Leon Kowalski, the fried of Roy Batty a Nexus 6 replicant. ‘Painful to live in fear isn’t it’ This shows how human the replicant s can actually be, worrying about their ‘life’ and living in constant fear of their death. Leon and Roy refer to their lifespans as their life’s also proving how human they actually be.

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Fahrenheit 451

· Human connection

The novel then explores the topic of dehumanisation. Technology is used to satisfy human needs Mildred Montag is constantly using a ‘seashell’ this is what majority of people use to listen to music, news and receive entertainment. ‘She had both ears plugged with electronic bees that were humming the hour away’. (pg. 28) Everyone uses the seashell, talking is now not a normal occurrence. The seashell is a way for individuals to escape their everyday life and the world around them, watching television or being with technology is prefeed over human interaction. Making everyone antisocial and isolated. This also gives the government an opportunity to control the lives and minds of all those with the seashell radio.

Throughout the novel the idea that distraction is happiness, however this juxtaposed in Bladeruner as happiness is driven by status. This gives individuals a chance to escape their own minds and supress the feelings of loneliness and sadness. Mildred Montag distracts herself from her own life this leads to her losing vital connection with Guy and having multiple suicide attempts. Mildred is an example of the state of solitude and isolation felt because of the profound and devastating impact technology.

In the modern-day era, earphones can be seen as the new seashell radio. People listen to music, podcasts and news through their earphones. Using them to block out the world and those around them. So, in reality earphones stop connection and conversation from happening, it creates a social barrier like the seashell radio.

Conformity v individuality is also a topic that is heavily discussed in Fahrenheit, in a society where everyone is controlled and forced to think and act the same guy is intrigued when he meets Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse represents freedom and individually, In Guy’s life he has not met anyone like her before. ‘You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that.’ This is Clarisse talking to guy and showing how different he is from the other people she talks to.

· Dehumanisation

Alter reality’. This can be seen when Guy first meets Clarisse as she explains to Guy that firemen use to put on fires instead of starting them. This shows the altered reality is found in the book, everything is almost upside down and the other way around as to say that in the future we will no longer have a sense of what is right and wrong.

In many ways Fahrenheit can be seen as an ode to the McCarthy era, the loss of books can symbolise censorship, control and the suppression of ideas and destruction of creativity which is what makes one an individual and different from those around them. But without books this is slowly taken away and everyone becomes controlled, every aspect of their life is dictated which can be blamed for the lack of conversation topics, which then lead to society needing another way to distract themselves which is why conversation is no longer seen as normal.

In modern day society, books are not destroyed but instead we are distracted from them. Modern day technology such as television, phones and laptops have taken our attention, we prefer to spend more time with technology as oppose to reading a book. Therefore, this gave corporations a chance to control those that used the seashell radio or constantly watched TV. Mood organ, this is a machine to improve the mood of all individuals in that society.

Conclusion

Through Ridley Scott’s Blade runner and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 we are constantly questioning what it means to be human, the causes of dehumanisation and understanding the importance of human connection. Through the novel and film, they both shared similar concepts and themes that help humanity to answer the question of ‘what it means to be human’.

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Fahrenheit 451 And Blade Runner: How Science Fiction Pre-warn Us? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-and-blade-runner-how-science-fiction-pre-warn-us/
“Fahrenheit 451 And Blade Runner: How Science Fiction Pre-warn Us?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-and-blade-runner-how-science-fiction-pre-warn-us/
Fahrenheit 451 And Blade Runner: How Science Fiction Pre-warn Us? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-and-blade-runner-how-science-fiction-pre-warn-us/> [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022].
Fahrenheit 451 And Blade Runner: How Science Fiction Pre-warn Us? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Nov 27]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-and-blade-runner-how-science-fiction-pre-warn-us/
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