Film Response- Gattaca

  1. Both the novel Unique and the film “Gattaca” offer a warning regarding the use of genetic engineering. Identify and contrast the warning from the two texts.

Although both stories are about technology that has advanced too much, the concept is very different between the two. The novel Unique portrays Dominic’s personal growth through his experiences and his quest in finding his identity, in which he realizes that although he is a clone of his brother Nick and has the exact same physical features, he is a unique, independent human being. He has the rights to decide for himself and follow his passions and not be hindered by the fact that he is a clone and suffer from unequal treatment. A warning that the story Unique hints on is that if technology advances too much, curiosity and greed will overtake common sense, making people oblivious to the feelings of other people, leading to unfair actions that violate humanitarian rights such as cloning of a human being.

Excerpt 1

Professor Holt- “Because I wanted to see if it could be done. That’s the truth.”

Dominic- ” ‘It’ meaning me, one person made from another, exactly the same? So I was an experiment, something made in your laboratory! You must think you’re so clever, you can make anything, control anything! ” “You don’t know what it’s done to me!” (p.106)

Excerpt 2

“Dominic, sixteen years ago, when I did what I did, I didn’t see what the real consequences might be. I let an arrogant, ruthless man get the better of my judgement. I allowed him to exploit my curiosity as a scientist. Could this thing be done with a human? I was sure it could, and I wanted to be the first to do it. At the time I didn’t think about Carla, or , if I did, I just thought she ought to be grateful to get her son back. I didn’t think about who that son would be… (p.134)”

Meanwhile, the message of the movie “Gattaca” is that although advanced technology can allow parents to choose the best traits from their genes and put it in their child’s DNA and make the child flawless, it is not always good for the child. In “Gattaca”, Jerome was the perfect child. With a IQ off the register, sight better than 20/20 for both eyes, heart of an ox, height of 6 foot 1, extreme physical ability especially in swimming and running, he was genetically superior and a member of the elite. Never having the experience of being under no.1 in his whole entire life, he was overwhelmed when he became second best at a swimming competition. He was overcome with shock that he did not meet his and everyone’s expectations and believed that he was no good, leading him to attempts of suicide. “Jerome Morrow was never meant to be one step down from the podium”

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