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Transmutation Of Androids Essay

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Allowing art to change and grow gives it new life, however art which refuses to evolve becomes evanescent. When Philip K. Dick wrote the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, he never knew that it would become the sci-fi classic film Blade Runner (1982). By retaining the core of the story that focuses on what defines humanity, the film transforms to enhance its new form. The transmutation of Deckard’s, Rachel’s and Roy’s character, the use of third-person, and the removal of elements within the book, allow the film be faithful to its medium.

Redesigning a character is often done to assists storytelling in film. Philip imagined Deckard as capable of empathy towards android life, questioning “Do you think androids have souls?” (Dick 125) and shown to feel greatly saddened by Luba’s death. Ridley however chose to change Deckard, allowing him to function more clearly as replicant, as well as to create more contrast between the vast emotions of replicants and the absolute lack of their killer.
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One of these many elements, is when adaptations remove unnecessary or extra characters (Stam 71). Iran the wife of Deckard was unnecessary to include the film, as the film focused its limited time on immersing the audience and on posing androids as human. Additionally, films also change novelistic events, for ideological reasons, to utilize a skilled actor, to make it more contemporary, or for aesthetic purposes, etc. (Stam 72-73). Arguably, the vast difference of how the android Roy was killed in the film versus the book, allowed the audience much more insight on how valuable life is to androids. Roy displays more empathy than Deckard when he saves the man that has killed all his friends. Roy utilizes the last moments of his life to preserve another 's, creating a powerful use of transmutation for film, and encapsulating the major message of Philip K.
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