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Analysis of the film Gattaca in reference to its discussion about eugenics and getenics engineering - Essay Example

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Running Head: GATTACA ANALYSIS Analysis of the film Gattaca in reference to its discussion about eugenics and genetic engineering Analysis of the film Gattaca in reference to its discussion about eugenics and genetic engineering The film Gattaca (1997) presents a moral dilemma as it explores a world in which genetic selection has created races of people in which some are considered better and put into a higher social class than those who are conceived naturally…
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Analysis of the film Gattaca in reference to its discussion about eugenics and getenics engineering
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Analysis of the film Gattaca in reference to its discussion about eugenics and getenics engineering

However, despite a very firm belief that any attempt at perfecting the human condition through selectively engineering children will have a detrimental effect on the human species, it is undeniable that if allowed, I would go back and have things corrected. It is in this desire to be perfected and saved, balanced against the detriment to society that supports the idea that legislation must prevent this from being a part of reproductive options. The concept of eugenics is defined by Francis Galton, British eugenicist and scientist, as “science that studies all the influences that may potentially effect reproduction, with the purpose of preventing degeneration and attaining the improvement of the human species” (Lavrin, 1998, p. 161). While the concept of eugenics seems to be defined by a pure intent, the central problem with eugenics is that it weeds out diversities and challenges that inspire human innovation. Morris (2006) states that “Another fear about this new eugenics is that we might one day breed a race of clones designed genetically to be placid slaves. In this very frightening scenario, eugenics is envisioned as a tool to suppress people” (p. 70). Gattaca takes this fear one step further as those without genetic enhancement are subjugated to lower level job positions, serving those who are of a genetically superior make-up. Vincent is considered an in-valid, his genetic make-up not fitting into the standard that has been set for the upper class, meanwhile his social class does not allow him the opportunities that he desires. His life expectancy, as determined at the time of his birth, is only 30.2 years and the list of potential problems, none of which is guaranteed, is vast and daunting. There is no doubt that this type of predictability about the future of the potential outcomes would be disheartening and place that child within a social framework that was undesirable. This is what happens to Vincent, but as an adult he determines to write his own fate. Through impersonating someone with a better genetic code, he proves that he is valuable enough to achieve his goals. The director of the film, Andrew Niccol, who also wrote the piece, provides his beliefs on genetic engineering a forum through the film. One of the first lines of narration, “They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don’t say that anymore” provides the context on how social and cultural class divisions had changed the nature of predicted futures for the people within the universe of the film (Niccol, 1997). In the contrast between Vincent and the wheelchair ridden ’perfected’ human, Jerome, the aspect of chance shows that expected life expectancies and the use of genetic manipulation to ’perfect’ the human species will never account for the challenges that chance will put in the way of ambitions and desires. Vincent narrates that “He suffered under a different burden: the burden of perfection” (Niccol, 1997). Niccol uses this theme to frame his position on the danger of genetically engineering children. The character of Irene, an almost perfect who is ... Read More
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