Blade Runner and Brave New World: Consequences of the Destruction of a Natural Lifestyle due to Totalitarianism Essay

“In The wild” pertains to the naturally occurring world, therefore to be “In The Wild” is to maintain naturally occurring rhythms and process and to uphold a natural state of being. The novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott explores the consequences of the destruction of a natural lifestyle when the lifestyle of the individual is being dictated by totalitarian power intent on manipulating and controlling the natural environment.

The contexts of both texts provide meaning into the values placed upon society in that time, and why the composers have questioned and criticized these values through their respective texts. Brave New World attempts to address communism through the production line style of humanity, human conditioning and social experiments such as the Bokanovsky process. Following the first world war many European countries fell into a state of disillusionment and economic depression where governments and individuals alike were grappling for security and a sense of identity.

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The masses become dissatisfied with their governments which urged for a shift from democracy to a totalitarianism control to gain some sense of reassurance. Huxley satirises these perceptions mainly by the World State Motto “Community, Identity, Stability” and continues to show the global community under the complete control of the government. With the world in economic disarray Henry Ford’s division of labour process became popular where maximum efficiently was sought through specialisation, this is illustrated through the Bokanovsky process.

Blade Runner on the other hand focuses on the effect of capitalism and commerce and the ecological sustainability of our lifestyle. Globalisation and the proliferation of multi-million dollar corporations threatened our individualistic society, this is seen by the Tyrell Corporation. The growing wealth of Asian ‘tiger’ economies became an economic threat to Western countries, Scott attempts to show this by the ‘Asianisation’ of 2019, where Asian culture and business is prominent in Los Angeles.

In the 1980’s there was a great realisation of ecological sustainability which only added to the paranoia that was plaguing the western mindset of the time, when humanity realised that nature was not an inexhaustible source. In Brave New World there are also concerns for the environment, not the destruction of it but rather humanity becoming an entirely separate entity from nature where the world around them is controlled and sterilised as seen through the natural world being contained in reserves. In each text the reliance on technology has forced the natural world to be overtaken with elements of artificiality.

Although both worlds represent a dystopia, the composers have visually highlighted this in opposing ways. The dismal world of Blade Runner has been represented through use of film noir; the smoky scenes, lack of natural light and highly stylised setting are key elements of this cinematic technique which show the audience the effects of environmental degradation and increased pollution from complete disregard for ecology. “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain” This is enhanced through the script writing, where the setting is being mentioned to show the characters feelings and how they are in sync with the environment.

This quote signifies that humans memories will be lost but the rain (the environment) is a constant, no matter how much humans have abused it. Whilst Brave New World presents dystopia in an alternate light, where the creation of a plain and sterile world exploits its artificiality. “Pale corpse-coloured rubber gloves bend over instruments in a frozen, dead light” The disinfected environment is in contrast to the reserves where the natural world is being contained, physically illustrating to the reader the separation from humans to their environment.

Everything aesthetically beautiful has been abolished since it is not required by humans, is this unhuman? Or simply humans progressing and becoming more efficient. Since humans in both texts lack emotion and physical characteristics as a reaction to their environment, Both texts ask the question that can suppression of human nature and lack of individual identity create ignorant happiness? Both the novel and the film contrast two respective characters to symbolise the traditional view of humanity and the journey of an outsider.

In Brave New World John embarks on this voyage as a newcomer to the World State who eventually yearns for his ‘savage’ reservation (back to the wild), while Roy a replicant in Blade Runner embodies everything that is human and instinctive showing that in both morally corrupt societies there are still aspects of humanity. Roy is aware that he is a artificially created being both mentally and physically superior to the humans and replicants around him. “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you, Roy, have burned ever so brightly. This is symbolic of Christ and the perceptions of perfection, someone who is perfect can not last in an imperfect world. This is similar to John, where his perceptions of the Brave New World are distressing where he see’s social norms as restrictive and ‘unholy’ denying the experience of the human condition. This is shown when John exclaims “I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom” And Mustapha Mond replies “In fact, your claiming the right to be unhappy. ” Showing the values that the World State upholds, when God and spirituality is considered a path to unhappiness whilst emotional infancy is considered as bliss.

John’s death is a result of his despair at how humans have evolved, not progressing forward but going back in time down the evolutionary scale to create a childlike happiness, because we cannot accept the world we have created. Ironically in Blade Runner replicants appear “more human than human”, he is able to develop intense relationships and emotions (he is grief stricken over Pris). Partly due to Roys nature and partly due to cinematic techniques (Near death, low angles and back lighting give him height) we accept Roy as our alternate hero. It conveys how he has an appreciate of beauty and of life, something Deckard can not comprehend.

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