Language Blade Runner

Language in Blade Runner: #

The human characters snap at each other indicating their lack of respect for each other due to the break down in human relationships, whereas the replicants speak much more politely to each other demonstrating the regard they have for each other and a caring empathy lacking in the humans.

Society appears to be squandering its social capital by a decline, decay or an erosion of social values, evidenced by a lack of respect for those who do not have advantage. Factors include: an imperious attitude, rudeness, diminished personal respect and dignity, lack of empathy and verbal, psychological or emotional abuse –in a word - bullying. Cordial manners are about empathy, self-respect and mutual respect. They are not about dominance and submission. They are not adversarial, degrading or demeaning. Civility is a sign of confidence, self - assertion and strength – not weakness.

Theodore Roosevelt put it as,

Politeness is a sign of dignity, not subservience”

Goethe maintained,

manners are the mirror of your portrait”.

The final word goes to Albert Einstein,

Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolised”.

Characters #

Bryant* * - Police Chief (Blade Runner); abrasive, bullying, threatens Deckard by reminding him he’ll become one of the “little people” unless he accepts the assignment and does his dirty work. He refers to Deckard as "….a goddam one man slaughter house”

Street argot

Blade Runner uses a mixture of English and Asian dialects – Gaff speaks in Asian Street Argot.

Religious resonances:

Roy: “It’s not an easy thing to meet your maker.”

“I want more life, father (f*cker).”*

“You are the prodigal son”

Snakes – serpents

that once corrupted man” in the Garden of Eden

”God of bio-mechanics.

“Death is the problem, Can the maker repair me?”

“All the moments will be lost in time, Like tears washed away in the rain”

Six Seven, Go to hell or to heaven.

Tyrell is surrounded by white candles and wearing a white robe is he the Pope?

Ambiguity, equivocation or punning: #

Sebastian:They’re my friends, I made them

Gaff: “You’ve done a man’s job sir. I guess you’re through”.

Deckard: “Finished!”

No dictionary has ever been able to define the difference between “complete” and “finished”. However, in a linguistics conference, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese was the clever winner. His final challenge was this. Some say there is no difference between “complete” and “finished”. His response was:

When you marry the right woman, you are “complete”. If you marry the wrong woman, you are “finished”. And, when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are “completely finished”.

A man without a wife is incomplete; a man with a wife is finished.

Placating Platitudes: #

Empty Platitudes is all that Tyrell offers Roy:

The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long*” (Achilles)


  • retirement of replicants,

  • accelerated decrepitude of replicants,

  • skin jobs’ (Bryant)

  • Pris created for military leisure (pleasure’)

Vehicles “Purge” before closing doors.


VK- Voight Kampf test, to test your humanity.


Roy Batty, though a fallen angel, has many Christ-like traits.

  • Nail in his hand

  • Gives Deckard a hand up.

  • Releases the white dove of hope.

Blade Runner is a satire and sets up situations which ridicule or denigrate the emptiness and hollowness of an artificial, unnatural society.

Replicants given the best inquiring lines:

Leon:Wake up, Time to die”.

“Nothing worse than to have an itch you can never scratch”.


“I’m waiting for a friend”

“I think, therefore I am” ** - Descartes**


Quite an experience to live and fear; that is what it’s like to be a slave”

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe”

“That was irrational, not to mention unsportsmanlike”.

“Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent”.

“Unless you’re alive, you can’t play”.

He repeats Leon’s “Time to die”.

To Chew: “who does minds?”

Firey the angels fell,
Deep thunder roll’d around their shores,
Burning with the fires of Orc

This is a paraphrase of William Blake’s America: A Prophesy:

Fiery the angels rose,
and as they rose deep thunder roll’d
Around their shores:
indignant burning with the fires of Orc.