Bladerunner: Humanity of Deckard & Roy Batty
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Roy Batty and Deckard are both able to show us what it means to be human. To what
extent do you agree?
Through Blade Runner, we see an epic quest filled with meaning and symbolism applicable
to the human condition. Replicants are basically human beings, except for the fact that
they lack a history. As a consequence of this, perhaps, they also lack proper emotional
faculties especially empathy. Empathy is the ability to place oneself in the position of
another living being and understand that persons feelings.
Blade runner promotes that empathy is the defining characteristics for humanity. The
replicants, designed not to show any emotion, develop spiritually and emotionally
throughout the film.
The characters in the movie, even the ones that were not human, had many humanistic
and believable qualities. Many of them were able to feel love as well as hate.
Although Deckard is supposedly human he at times shows less emotion than Roy. He
seems heartless and uncompassionate making himself look very unhuman. We see that
Deckard is possibly not “human” as well, but a replicant. He shows no compassion when he
tells Rachel of her being a replicant with implants. In tears, Rachel sneaks out of Deckards
apartment and into the streets. The only time in which Deckard really shows emotion is
accomplished when Roy, forging Deckard through the fires of a harrowing battle, looks
terrified knowing that he is going to die. Through this, Roy tries to communicate his life
experiences, and the importance of life before his own flame extinguishes explaining of the
horrors of their enslavement.
Again, all of these human characteristics that the non-human characters showed makes
them more believable for the viewers. The whole definition of humanity is changed by its
interaction with the Replicants.
For the replicant Roy Batty it was obvious that that he felt strong emotions, perhaps even
love for his fellow replicants. After Deckard killed Pris, Roy leaned over her and kissed her
showing that he had loved her. He also showed these feelings for Pris and Zhora breaking
two of Deckards fingers, one for Pris and one for Zhora. Although this act seemed quite
inhuman, the motivation behind it seemed quite believable. He also demonstrates an
inhumane role when he kills Tyrell but Tyrell is inhumane to create intelligent beings with
such a limited life span displaying greed and manipulation.
Batty also showed many human emotions as he talked of the horrors he had endured. It
was obviously very difficult for him to take these nightmares as they affected him much in
the same way it would have affected any human. He also exhibited human qualities when
he saved Deckard from falling off the building.
Quote: Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like to live as a slave.”
At the last moment, Roy saves him by grabbing his wrist with the nail-impaled hand. He
draws him up to the roof, and lays him down.
Pris also shows human qualities. Pris was very naive. She seemed to be the least
developed of all of the Replicants and therefore was very much a follower. She also had a
certain sort of innocence.
Quote: Then we’re stupid, and we’ll die!
She says this after Batty tells of the deaths of their friends, which show that she is scared
and starting to get worried that shell die, she has feelings, and starts to panic.
Towards the end of the movie it levels it up to see that both Batty and Deckard show us
the meaning of what it means to be alive. Roy Batty shows this by saving Deckard of
falling off the building, sitting in front of Deckard releasing a dove to commemorate his
death that he most likely learned to accept and appreciate while Deckard demonstrates a
humane act when he hurries home to find Rachel, desperate to escape the city with her
before someone in the Blade Runner unit finds them. As they leave Rachel knocks over the
unicorn that was placed on the floor, symbolizing her escape from the Tyrell Corporation,
which only looked upon her as a replicant. Deckard fell in love with her as a human, and
by doing so; she became human which inturn replaced Deckards cold-hearted contrast to
a more humane replicant.
Deckard joins Rachael in the elevator. He has found love with a replicant under the most
unlikely of circumstances. The elevator doors close on Deckard and Rachael as they leave
to escape the law.
Bladerunner: Humanity of Deckard & Roy Batty