How Does Gattaca Explore Issues Of Personal Identity And Individuality? Harvard, 12 Essay

714 words - 3 pages

How does Gattaca explore issues of personal identity and individuality?
In my film Gattaca,
To explore personal identity and individuality, I used the technique of irony throughout the film. The audience is introduced to the protagonist Vincent, who has the surname ‘Freeman’, despite being destined to be bound as an ‘invalid’ in the society of Gattaca. Jerome is said to be a ‘valid’, and was genetically 'guaranteed' athletic success, it is ironic that he receives second place in a swimming contest. This shows that life for the valids is not suggests, and that they too struggle with the expectations placed on them by their genetic status. Irene is also valid who works in the Gattaca building, but is unable to become an astronaut as she has "Unacceptable risk of heart failure." It is ironic that she, a genetically modified valid, suffers a similar fate to Vincent, whose natural birth gives him a heightened chance of heart failure. This further reiterates that valids struggle with similar issues as the invalids, even though they are supposedly guaranteed "success."
In the film, I implemented the use of symbols. The images that appear when a person’s DNA is tested is either a cross or an infinity symbol. The cross is used to represent the invalids, while the infinity symbol represents the valids. The cross is used to echo the biblical connotations of the crucifix, as the invalids are referred to as "faith births." While religious imagery is often positive, the cross stands as a constant reminder of the individual's genetic inferiority and weakness. This is highlighted when Vincent comments "I'll never understand what possessed my mother to put her faith in God's hands, rather than her local geneticist." Thus, the religious symbol indicates the individuals low status in society. Meanwhile, the valids are represented by the infinity sign. This symbolizes unboundedness, and hence, the endless potential of the genetically superior. Another symbol would be the spiral staircase in Vincent’s apartment, representing a string of DNA. This is a focal point of many scenes, as it symbolizes personal identity in a society where you are defined by your DNA. Another use of symbolism would be the...

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