Saturday, February 26, 2011

Human vs. Replicants

One of the main themes in Blade Runner was the ambiguity between humans and replicants. There were many times in the movie where the line between the two was very blurred. I thought it was interesting that the "bad guys" in the movie were the replicants while the police and Deckard seemed to be the good guys. It was asked in class if anybody had sympathy for the replicants which I hadn't really considered before. But after thinking about it, the humans appear to be just as wrong or evil as the replicants. After all, the humans designed the replicants to be slaves in the offworld colonies. Everyone would agree one human enslaving another is inherently wrong, so I don't understand why the replicants are so human. Not only were they made to look human, but their designers also implanted memories in some to try to make them act and feel as humans. To me, this is an evil and unnecessary act in itself. Slavery is a dehumanizing institution, so the humans are at fault for trying to make their slaves seem as human as possible. Not only this, but if the slaves try to escape then they are executed, which is called retirement. This is a euphemism which just further dehumanizes the very slaves they are trying to make more and more human. In this sense, the replicants are justified in their attacks on humans in my mind.

I guess the point of my rambling defense of the replicants is that just like the lines of human and replicant are blurred in the movie, so are the lines between good and evil. Although the four replicants are portrayed as pure evil throughout the movie, the actions of the humans are equally reprehensible. This is could be further evidence towards the argument that there is no real difference between humans and replicants, other than lifespan of course.

1 comment:

  1. To continue off of your aforementioned ideas, I think that the Tyrell Corporation’s slogan, “more human than human,” is the critical thought that the film is built upon. What makes humans, human? Today, we think of ourselves as the most advanced, but does that actually mean that we are any better than those of the past? Personally, I feel that as a species we are regressing. We are becoming more and more like the each other and thus our individuality is progressively diminishing. As much as we would like to think otherwise, what separates us from the robots is so little; humans are just as expendable, having an unknown expiration date, and as mentioned in class, we are often considered just a number. The influx of technology seemingly perpetuates this, tearing us from our emotion and plugging us into sources of electricity and machines rather than into true conversation and thought. Imagine looking at Chapel Hill from the perspective of a human in year 400 AD. At least 75% of people would be attached to some box of sort (a phone or a laptop) and long conversation would be rare. How human is this? Slavery is undoubtedly incredibly inhumane, as you mentioned, but this odd attachment to such materialistic devices makes us question the essence of humanity and think twice about our connection to machinery and robots.