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Blade Runner - At what cost does Deckard learn a sense of humanity?

Uploaded by Ethan on Nov 09, 2002

“More Human than human is our motto” Tyrell tells Deckard, and through the ‘super-human’ replicants the Tyrell Corporation lives up to this motto. Compared to the debauched society of Los Angeles 2019, the replicants are more humane than their commercial-minded creators. Deckard at the start of the film understands less about life and what it is to be human than Roy and the other replicants. But as Deckard pursues the fugitive replicants, he learns something about his own humanity.

At the outset, Deckard is cold and heartless, mercilessly telling Rachel she is a replicant, despite the importance of a replicant’s prefabricated past. Deckard is a bounty-hunter and murderer, killing the replicants whose only crime is to seek longevity. As Deckard hunts down the replicants, he begins to see the life of fear and slavery they are forced into, and understands the cruelty of their premature terminations – “painful to live in fear, isn’t it?” With each ‘retirement’ Deckard begins to understand the privilege of living a natural life, where he has the freedom to do what he wants, without living in fear of an early demise.

However Deckard’s sense of humanity comes at a cost. Only after he kills the fugitive replicants does he truly understand. With each death, his understanding of their plight becomes more complete. His final exchange with Roy is the pinnacle of his moral enlightenment. When Deckard is precariously hanging from the edge of the building, he feels the fear that the replicants live with every day of their life, and when Roy saves him, Deckard sees that he is more humane than his creator. Without experiencing the replicants first hand and without having to retire them, Deckard would not have gained a sense of his own humanity, but as Roy saves him physically, Deckard is also offered humanity at the cost of the other replicant’s deaths.

Throughout the pursuit, Deckard’s relationship with Rachel also evolves, from Deckard’s original contempt of Rachel, (“how can it not know what it is?”), to a relationship where Deckard sees her as more than a machine. In the bleak and cold world he lives in, Deckard learns to love and understands the importance of others, learning from the love Roy has for his fellow species – “this is for Pris”. Deckard’s relationship with Rachel shows what he has learned from his experience; the ability to love other people, and replicants. Without the mission...

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Uploaded by:   Ethan

Date:   11/09/2002

Category:   Film

Length:   2 pages (547 words)

Views:   2554

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