“The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race” (Don Marquis). The acquirement of knowledge, and the subsequent progress of technology devoid of ethical and moral influence, destructively impact upon humanity’s core. This innate yearning to excel has led to the evolution of technology and the subsequent devolution of humanity. Inevitably, the threat of technology exceeding humanity has provoked a sense of apprehension within certain composers who, while subject to their surrounding context, effectively explore the elements which constitute humanity and convey similar warnings regarding the future of mankind through the use of representations within varying forms of texts. The novel Frankenstein (F) by Mary Shelly
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“Man is the measure of all things, of the things that are that they are, and of the things that are not that they are not.”Protagoras’ pronouncement applies perfectly to the protagonist and tragic hero of the novel, Victor, whose obsession led him “away to a hell of intense tortures, such as no language can describe.” Victor’s myopic hubris of “chasing nature into her hiding places” as he seeks to assume God’s prerogative, is foreshadowed by his father’s personality early in the text. His obsession with science is cemented when, as a teenager, he witnessed lightening reduce a tree “to thin ribbons” and was thus introduced to the ideas of electricity and galvanism which caused him to
“set down natural history and all its progeny.” When reflecting upon this event, Victor deems it as “the last effort made by the spirit of preservation to avert the storm that was even then hanging in the stars,” thus foreshadowing the subsequent events.
The film BR provides another example of how a text is subject to the deep seated influences of contextual forces as it depicts a pessimistic view of the future which represents the striking changes that took place during the 1980s. This dystopic text exaggerates the key issues of globalisation, environmental chaos, technology, consumerism,