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Reading and Comparing Gattaca and Nlmg

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In the sterile environment of Gattaca, life is genetically controlled right from the start so that everyone gets the “best possible start”. The bleak setting captures an oppressive and authoritarian atmosphere that values genetic perfection above all else. This becomes evident as the director, Niccol, displays the robotic-like characters that inhabit Gattaca. Niccol establishes identity by your status as valid or in-valid. The opening scenes in Gattaca set an aspect of controlled bodily perfection. Niccol uses extreme close-ups of body matter such as blood, skin, hair, urine and fingernails. The use of these shots places an emphasis on how Gattaca’s society heightens the importance of genetic material. As a “faith-birth”, Vincent is abnormal in the new world order of “Genoism”. From a simple prick of blood, Vincent’s life was mapped out for him. Ishiguro sets the story at Hailsham, the school where Kathy, Ruth and Tommy are educated, and where they learn slowly of their position as clones and their coming jobs of carers and donors. Initially, Ishiguro depicts Hailsham as a paradise and refuge for the students. However, these students have been intentionally cloned for the specific purpose of being raised to become organ donors. At the beginning of the novel, Kathy introduces herself as a “carer” and how she has “donors”. By not explaining the term “donors”, Kathy is shown to have a secretive and mysterious personality. Kathy explains that she can “choose” donors. This implies that she has a high status in society. While at Hailsham, Kathy begins to slowly understand the truth of her fate, that she is a clone prepared to serve as a donor.    

Both Kathy and Vincent have a pre-determined life. As a clone, Kathy is viewed by the wider society as a donation, however Ishiguro positions reader to be informed of her humanity and normality through her participation in childish games and gossiping with friends. Similarly, Vincent is portrayed as lesser than when compared to his brother, Anton. Anton appears superior based on his scientific birth. However, both Vincent and Kathy are very different. Kathy’s narration is resigned demonstrating her acceptance of the oppressive system. Unlike Kathy, Vincent determination to overcome restrictions and achieve his goals, despite the dangers and hardships, is proven when he beats Anton in the swimming race and when he travels to Titan.      



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