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Biological Determinism in Gattaca— Valids and Invalids
In relation to the Frankenstein complex, Gattaca portrays a world where humans are no longer humans, whereby fate is overruled by control, and everything (from the physical and mental conditions to the very life expectancy of a person) is pre-determined since birth. To a greater aspect, even the very lives of a person born under this biologically determined society are determined.
Invalids (the genetically inferior being) are given lowly jobs, and are barred from entering the high-class living of the valids. They are to remain as low as they were pre-determined, never to have the word 'superior', or perhaps, even 'normal' to be tagged on them. In this society of Gattaca, these are the guys that are subjected to much genetic discrimination, and are very frequently used and then thrown away.
Vincent, the protagonist, is symbolic of the class of the 'invalids'. However, he is different in the sense that he wishes for his dream (to be an astronaut) to be fulfilled, despite the impossibility of it occurring due to the system's prejudice against the genetically inferior. Yet, he succeeded, and this, is where the flaw of the system lies, and where this system that is overly reliant on technology truly restricts human's unlimited potential by placing limits onto every human being. When even someone with a congenial heart disease could be fit enough and capable enough to become a top-class astronaut, what else is impossible, and how many more impossibilities or miracles are be limited by this supposed effected system adopted by the society?
Valids (the genetically superior beings are on the extreme opposite spectrum compared to invalids. They are the elites, the superior ones that are always on the winning end. To succeed, all they need is their blood, and with their blood tested, they have proven themselves worthy for the job.
Jerome, who represents the class of the 'valids' has always been a winner. In fact, he is the most valid of the valids. Under this kind of system, where genetics play such an important role in deciding a human's fate, Jerome has grown to understand his superiority, and winning, to him, is part of his life. Yet, in a society so governed by the quality of one's genes, how is it possible to fulfill every valids’ want for victory, when there can only be one and only one 'best'? Never able to get over coming in second, Jerome committed suicide, incinerating himself and his silver medal, which, for a moment, burned gold. This signifies the imperfection of the perfects, as well as the foolish reliance on one’s genes—which is thought to control one’s fate in this biologically determined society.Technocracy in Gattaca
Bringing in the concept of the Frankenstein complex, have we become the monstrous being that we ourselves fear? Vincent, in a sense, is an alternative version of Frankenstein. Rather than the monster as a result of twisted science in Frankenstein, Vincent, becomes the monster because he is born naturally while all other humans around him are genetically enhanced creations of human technology. In a world full of Frankenstein's monsters, Vincent becomes the monster as he is the odd one out and becomes despised by the technocracy society. Therefore the question is: are we still human if all that's it to our lives have been predetermined by the society, by genes, by our own creation? Where is the human spirit-of determination, of hard work, of preservation? Would living in a world whereby one's fate is sealed from the very beginning be called living? Where lies our will, if all it does is nothing, and there is nothing to change our predicament?
Living in a world where we are so badly addicted to technology and its prowess, would we, like Anton in the story, limit our own ability to progress, and forget the excitement of the unpredictability of life? Indeed, in the world of Gattaca, humans have lost control over their own lifes. Human life is now ruled over by the technology of genetic enigineering, the very monster that we ourselves have created. Progress is no more, and the entrance point into society is and will be the exit from the society, into death. No longer would there be any miraculous jumping from the poor sector of the society to the rich sector: everything is under control.Back to top
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