Prosthetic Gods and Cyberpunk: A Comparative Study of 'Blade Runner 2049' and 'Alita'

Zeenat Shahid, Zara Rizwan

Abstract


Cyberpunk fiction is a continuation of scientific advancements and technological marvels in science fiction narratives. It talks about a man in a post-human, dystopian era where man is slowly being replaced by Cyborgs and artificial intelligence. Man’s connection with God has always been much debatable in literary fiction. It can either be accepting his deity or it is a revolt against him. In the futuristic setting, when humanity is at stake, man’s connection with God has also changed. Man is at odds with his creator, god as he wants to acquire that supreme position in order to relinquish his desire for control and becoming a powerful demigod.  God’s deity thus can be seen challenged by a post-human man who is armed with technology and unlimited possibilities than before. This concept of replacing God with that of prosthetic Gods has been analyzed in the data taken from two cyberpunk movies. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and Alita: Battle Angel (2019). In the light of Sigmund Freud’s essay Civilizations and its Discontents (1931), the motives behind man’s becoming a prosthetic God and his psychological fears that lead him towards destruction have been studied in these two selected movies. This article aims at highlighting God as an absent figure in cyberpunk fiction and the adverse effects of man’s uncontrollable ambition or desire for gaining control and power over his fellow human beings. Moreover, it also highlights the manipulation of ultramodern or space-age technology in the hands of humans.


Keywords


Cyberpunk fiction; Prosthetic Gods; Psychoanalysis; Dystopia; Freud

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alia: Battle Angel. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, performances by Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali, 20th Century Fox, 2019.

Blade Runner 2049. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, performances by Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, and Jared Leto, Warner Brothers, 2017.

Dyens, Ollivier. Metal and Flesh: The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over. Trans. Evan J. Bibbee and Ollivier Dyens. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001.

Daly, Ryan. "Everything Feels Like The Future But Us: The Posthuman Master-Slave Dynamic in Japanese Science Fiction Anime." University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2019.

Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and its discontents. WW Norton & Company, 1989.

Gillett, Grant. "Cyborgs and Moral Identity." Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 32, no.2, 2006, pp. 79-83.

Haraway, Donna. “The Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991. 149-181

Haraway, Donna. “Cyborgs and Symbionts: Living Together in the New World Order.” The Cyborg Handbook. Ed. Chris Hables Gray, Heidi J. Figueroa-Sarriera, and Steven Mentor. New York: Routledge, 1995. xi-xx.

Lister, Martin, et al. New Media: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, 2008.

Miller, Gavin, and Anna McFarlane. "Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities." Medical humanities, vol. 42, no.4, 2016, pp. 213-218.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1994.

Read, C. Stanford. "Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud”. Journal of Mental Science, vol. 77, no. 3, 1931, pp. 821-823.

Tabbi, Joseph. Postmodern sublime: Technology and American writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk. Cornell University Press, 1996.

Tirosh-Samuelson, H. "In Pursuit of Perfection: The Misguided Transhumanist Vision." Theology and Science, vol. 16, no 2, 2018, pp. 200-222.



View Counter


Abstract - 251
PDF - 58

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2021 zeenat shahid, Zara Rizwan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN (Online): 2395-0897 ISSN (Print): 2454-2296 Copyright (c) 2015 The Achievers Journal

International Category Code (ICC): ICC-0902
 
International Journal Address (IJA): IJA.ZONE/239572180897