The human race is a curious species and likes to experiment with the world around them as it pushes the limits of any known boundaries. As such, humans are constantly fascinated with the idea of what life is and how it can be manipulated. Through various realistic fictional stories such as Frankenstein and Rise of the Planet of Apes, people are able to get a clear picture as to how far the human mind can go. After watching Frankenstein and the The Rise of the Planet of Ape, it is evident that both films share a common themes of science, consciousness and which is the experimentation on the mind and body of humans, the results and the consequences that come with such actions. This paper aims to evaluate, compare and contrast the two films to show the tension between our fear of tampering with the human form, mind and body and the desire to improve them.
Evaluation The Rise of the Planet of Apes In science, technology assist humans to engage in a process that is intended to help humanity move forward such as finding better cures for diseases and helping the needy in the society (Jasanoff 53). Although there have been great concerns regarding technological breakthroughs such as nuclear energy, nowhere has there been greater fear in certain areas of research witnessed as has been in the case of genetic engineering. The film The Rise of the Planet of Apes is one of the stories which highlights this issue that has plagued humanity for ages. The film is story that is told in the perspective of Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimp who is accidentally exposed to a drug simply referred to as ALZ-112, which is used in treating Alzheimers condition.
Caesar is exposed to the drug while he is still in the womb and it causes his already large brain to develop more rapidly than that of normal chimp species or human beings. Due to this encounter with the drug, Caesar ends up being raised by Will Rodman, the person behind the Alzheimers drug. However, as Caesar continues to develop, his place in Rodmans home becomes uncertain which leads to his reduced loyalty to humanity. After experiencing several incidences of abuses and neglects, Caesar ends up using his enhanced intelligence as a tool to defend himself and to liberate himself, including his fellow apes.
As Caesar continues to develop, his intelligence also continues to increase. Unfortunately he becomes more aggressive, at times becomes atrocious, violent or even barbaric, especially when he recognizes actions that do not bode well with his instincts. The film illustrates the possible consequences of meddling with genetic makeup due to the possibility of creating something that may not be human yet might be powerful or more intelligent than us, thereby putting the whole of humanity at risk (Matthews 12).
FrankensteinBoth of these films employ heavy use of technology as a vehicle that can be used in enhancing the human life and but in the end reveal the several consequences that come with meddling with scientific bodily enhancements. Frankenstein reflects the hopes and fears of every scientific bodily enhancement experiment. Mary Shelleys classic novel, Frankenstein is a story about a hideous and dangerous creature that blames its monstrous and cursed nature on its creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Published almost two centuries ago, Shelleys gothic novel is perceived as an article that gives insights about the problems of using human body to perform experiments (Harrison 12). Just like the The Rise of the Planets of the Apes, this film illustrates the tension between our fear of interfering in the human form, mind and body and the desire to improve them. The beginning of human bodily enhancements to create Superhuman? can be found in the ancient Greek myth of Daedalus and his son, Icarus.
When the two found themselves prisoned for unjust reasons in the island of Crete, the resourceful Daedalus decided to create wings from feathers and wax with which they could fly out of imprisonment. He cautioned Icarus to keep a distance from the sun since his wax would melt but because he decided to ignore the advice, he fell to his death in the sea. His fate has since become a cautionary tale of the perils of carelessness and uncontrolled ambition. Ultimately, the critical question that is posed by this story is that, does technology always improve things? For Icarus the answer is no, and this is also true according to the growing number of athletes who usually have their titles repossessed after having been found to use bodily enhancement drugs.
However, even though the creature is what seems to be the most terrifying in the novel, it is innocent since it is just an animated cops that was not even aware of its existence in the first place. The real monster is the scientist, with his promethean overreaching visions (Grinbaum 125). It is him and his ilk that we fear today. Like the first film, this novel has a similar pattern, an abstract but dramatic theme regarding the direction of science that obscures its concrete achievement for improving lives. ComparisonRight off from the start, it is evident that the two films heavily involve the use of technology as a vehicle for enhancing human life. Although these two tales share a common theme, they diverge in how the plot develops as they explore different methods of using technology in ways that are deemed to be beneficial. By assessing both tales, it is not difficult to notice the differences in experiments, consequences and relationships. The first major difference is the types of experiments used on the two protagonists in the two tales.
For instance, in Frankenstein, the doctor uses a mysterious electrical field, simply referred to as the spark of life to reanimate his creation and bring it to life in order to use him in fulfilling his own ambitions. Rise of the Planet of the Apes on the other hand, the protagonists objective of conducting the experiment was for the greater good from the onset. Given the way the two plots are dissimilar, audience are able to see how even though scientists at times totally have different ideas and perceptions, the end result from such experiments is usually not that much different. The other major difference between the two tales is how they end. In the Rise of the Planets of the Apes, the result of the experiment was the total destruction of the city which was the only way the human beings could find safety. In the novel however, the creature causes devastation for the sole purpose of tantalizing its creator.
The apes end up reaching their destination and although they have destroyed everything in their path, they are generally safe and complacent while Caesar quietly mourns the death of his friend. On the other hand, the creator of the monster, Victor, ends up losing his life in the hunt for the monster, while the monster commits suicide leaving behind no trail of any leads of its whereabouts or events. These two differences are what make the two stories unique when compared. However, the two stories share one common theme ” they warn humanity of the dangers that come with scientific bodily enhancements. Each tale ends in suffering, loss and destruction caused by the results of the superhuman experiments. They tend to convey the message that meddling with the body or the mind can be a volatile process and should therefore be carefully controlled. Even though one main character lives while the other one dies, they both realize the power and consequences of their actions thereby providing the audience with a life lesson regarding these kinds of experiments. These two works show a significant aspect of contrast. Right from the plot of both the movie and the story to the characters exist differences. The Frankenstein novel is organized as a frame story while the rise of the planet of apes is a continuous story that does not involve companion stories (Ronald 2).
The Frankenstein story begins from Captain Walton narrative with his sister. Walton is part of a voyage, and the crew notices an emaciated man by the name Victor Frankenstein. From this narrative then the story shifts to the narration by the rescued victor. Victor begins by explaining his childhood and describes how he was always interested in studying outdated theories. Victor then goes ahead and tells how the success in chemistry and sciences made him embark on creating a humanoid becomes a disaster He has fear concerning his creation and flees. Later the creature catches up with him in the mountains. The creature narrates its story to victor and demands that he creates a female companion for it (Ronald 3 ). He first embarks on the process but later concludes that this will be a danger. The creature kills his wife, and then victor pursues it to revenge. However, he doesnt make it as he collapses. After this narrative of victor the story shifts again to Captain Walton, he explains how the ship is trapped in ice and decides to turn the ship around. In this narrative, Victor tells Walton to avoid ambition before he dies. At this moment, Captain Walton realizes the creature is on the ship. It is morning Victors death. The creature says that it shall kill itself and it escapes on an ice raft. On the other hand, the story of the rise of the planet of apes flows right from the beginning whereby will Rodman, a scientist, is trying to find the cure for Alzheimer disease. He uses chimpanzees to test a viral-based drug known as the ALZ-13, the result being increased intelligence (Ronald 3). The chimpanzee becomes chaotic during the presentation and is shot dead. Wills assistant then realizes it had given birth before its death.
The young chimp is named Ceaser, and he is taken care of and is later introduced to the redwood forest. Ceaser then becomes placed in a shelter where he learns how to unlock his cage. In the end, Ceaser learns how to speak and flees with other apes. The virus spreads to the humans and is killing them but does not have an adverse effect to the apes. Another difference arises in the way the created creatures interact with the human beings. In the Frankenstein story, the creature is more demonic to the extent that victor flees it and the creature is involved in so many human killings that are intentional (Ronald 2).
However, in the movie about the rise of the planet of apes, there is a very close interaction with between the creatures and the human beings. The first death is associated with the creatures is accidental while the last one is more defensive although it shows an aspect of revenge. Also, in Franklin story, the creature learns how to speak by listening to humans and reading books. In the movie about the rise of the planet of apes, the Ceaser does not learn from books and human beings, but he can speak when resisting Dodge (Barbara 11). Similarly, another difference arises in the naming of the creatures.
In the Frankenstein story, the creature is not given a name. This minimizes the excitement aroused by the names. On the other hand, the creatures in the rise of a planet of apes are given a name. Each name is unique making the story exciting and outstanding. The development of the story also shows a difference in the two. The Frankenstein story was influenced by the conversations of friends and the need to compete among themselves in fictional work. On the other hand, the rise of the planet of apes was inspired by an article that was about a troublesome chimpanzee. Besides, a difference exists on the account the future. In the Frankenstein story, the future of the creature is uncertain and unexplained while in the movie the future is sure to a greater extent. The beast by Frankenstein disappears alone after having promised to kill itself while in the movie the creatures escape into the forest. It is therefore uncertain if the creature in the Frankenstein kills itself and leaves the humans safe (Ronald 2).
On the other hand, it is clear that the apes got into the forest and would naturally multiply. Similarly, the virus used on those apes is traced to have devastating effects on humans. This suggests that the human population is headed towards a decline while the ape population is about to increase. Moreover, there is a difference in the fate of the main characters. In the Frankenstein story, Victor dies after being exhausted while pursuing the creature. In the rise of the planet of new apes, Will passionately hugs Ceaser and leaves him with the rest of the apes in the forest. Will does not die as for the case of Victor. The extent to which the moral of the two accounts is presented differs. In the Frankenstein story, Victor informs Walton to avoid ambition.
This is a presented moral of the story. However, in the movie about the rise of the planet of new apes, there is no clear moral given, and the viewer has to make conclusions on his or her behalf.
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