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Artificial Creation

The word Artificial, derived from the Latin word artificialis is defined as Made by humans; produced rather than natural. Since the beginning of time man has always been enthralled by a magnificent sight; however what is beautiful to one person may be uncanny to another. This thought can be summed up in one sentence: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This saying was formulated many years ago, and it still holds true today. Throughout time, man has striven to find and become beautiful. In the stories of Ovid, Pynchon, Kleist, and Blade Runner, this is the case. In these stories, however, the same concept is presented in the form of a question: Is it acceptable to become beautiful through artificial means? In each of the four stories, the same idea is presented in different contexts. Ovid, Kleist and Blade Runner build figures from the ground up to create what they think to be perfect creatures. Pynchon, however, while still using a form of creation merely re-creates shapes on the face of a young girl to obtain what she thinks is a better suited nose. The only natural creation is God s.

Throughout time, man has striven for perfection. With more and more technological advances, it has become possible to create the person that everyone idolizes. In the case of Pynchon, for instance, a nose job to achieve what Esther believes will make her truly beautiful is the topic. Doctor Shoenmaker, who is performing the surgery, is more than a doctor. The doctor turns a rather normal surgery into some kind of sexual fiesta with perverted antidotes. After achieving what Esther thinks is personal beauty, she willingly gives herself to her creator , Doctor Shoenmaker, in full confidence. Doctor Shoenmaker on the other hand, believes that in turning Esther into what she wants to become, he has now somehow transformed this hideous beast into some kind of beautiful temptress and the she should be in debt to him and all of his power . This kind of re-creation, which is taking the work of God and changing it for the sake of self-confidence, is becoming more and more acceptable in society. In this way, man has used technology to become more accepted in the society in which we live. This is an example of how the goal for personal perfection can cause differences in attitude and behavior.

In many other instances, there is a need to completely construct a being to find true beauty. For Ovid, the creator has a different need. In this story, Pygmalion has a belief that he will never find his one true love throughout the entire kingdom that he rules. Because of this, Pygmalion creates what, I his eyes, is the perfect woman out of ivory. Pygmalion so much wants to believe that this woman is real, that he goes on to treat her like his wife, from bringing her simple pleasures like clothes and diamonds to going as far as sleeping with the lifeless piece of stone. Pygmalion wants so desperately for the statue to be real that he presents the piece to the town s ladies and suggests that it should be an ideal for the whores of the town to learn from. Soon after the address by Pygmalion to the town s women, the statue is blessed by the Greek goddess of love, Venus, and somehow turned into an actual person. After this, Pygmalion marries the artificial woman who is now alive, and he raises a family with this perfect creature. The story is twisted in that this kind of behavior is unethical because Pygmalion is using an unreal piece of material to conform to what he thinks is a relic for life.

Blade Runner although once again a different text, still poses the question of artificial creation versus natural creation. Blade Runner is a story that tells us about a futuristic time in which artificial humans are built and shipped off earth to serve natural humans as slaves would. The movie portrays artificial humans (replicants) who managed to stay on earth and try to become part of society, although this is illegal. A Blade Runner is a special person trained to find and destroy these replicants before they cause damage to the vulnerable people of earth. In order for natural humans to get shipped off earth, they have to pass an examination in self-sufficiency. If a person fails this examination, he or she is left on the planet with the rest of the people who could not pass. Amongst these inferior people are the Blade Runners. The Blade Runners jobs are to give out special examinations, which are a series of questions to seek out the replicants. After finding the replicants, however, a Blade Runners job is only half finished. The rest of the job is to kill or retire the replicant. Even though the replicants have incredibly humanistic characteristics, they are very good examples of why artificial creation is wrong. Unnatural humans breath, eat, sleep and bleed like humans but they are very different. The normal life expectancy of the machines is only about four years, so even in a mature body, they are still really only infants. However, most replicants are created with advantages that few humans possess, like superior power and knowledge, which does pose threat to the imperfect race of earth. The movie shows that creatures are built only to serve and without that function, they are not necessary at all. Artificial creation, in this film, has turned into something that has been accepted everywhere but earth. The argument that these unreal humans are living organisms is one that can be debated only because of the strong similarities that replicants have to humans.

Through both the readings of the texts and the viewing of the movie, it has proven time and time again that only God s creation is natural and acceptable. It is wrong to create life, as it is to take it away. To re-create or create life is morally unjustifiable. In the instances of Blade Runner, creating these artificial beings was wrong, which is why Blade Runners were put to the test to retire these machines. As for the Pygmalion s stone girl, this is an example of selfishness and greed. Pygmalion insulted everybody and put a rock sculputure of a woman above everyone else. To re-create, as in the story of Pynchon and Esther, it is wrong because it is tampering with the creation that God has given that young girl. Moreover, taking the surgery to a sexual level is a sin on its own. Life is a gift and it should not be taken for granted; to play God and give life as if it was a right is morally and inexcusable wrong.

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