Mating And Genetic Manipulation In Gattaca, By Andrew Niccol

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Gattaca is a film by Andrew Niccol that depicts a futuristic society where eugenics, or the use of selective breeding and genetic manipulation, has become dominant as a way to perfect humanity. The film centers on Vincent Freeman, a naturally-conceived young man whose genetically inferior status as an In-Valid precludes him from achieving his dream of joining the space program Gattaca. Determined to pursue space travel, he assumes the genetic identity of Jerome Morrow, a genetically superior Valid and star swimmer who lost the use of his legs after a car accident. Vincent successfully joins Gattaca as Jerome, where he prepares to travel to Titan while courting his coworker Irene Cassini. All is going well until the week before Vincent’s launch, …show more content…
Near the beginning of the film, Vincent explains how his inferior genetic makeup bars him from acceptance into Gattaca. “It didn't matter how much I lied on my résumé. My real résumé was in my cells. Why should anybody invest all that money to train me, when there are a thousand other applicants with a far cleaner profile? Of course, it's illegal to discriminate—‘genoism’ it's called—but no one takes the laws seriously” (Niccol). In this scene, Vincent relegates himself to inevitable rejection even though he may be more academically qualified and passionate about space than the average applicant. This demonstrates the society’s injustice in employing genetics as the only standard for evaluating applicants’ fitness for a certain occupation without consideration of other, more relevant qualifications. His statement about genoism being technically illegal but very widespread also raises an enormous challenge to the society’s supposed perfection since a society that does not follow its own laws is hypocritical at best and tyrannical at worst. Then, Vincent proves society’s negative evaluation of him wrong throughout the film by passing all the training requirements for spaceflight despite his actual In-Valid status and genetic predispositions for illnesses, including a 99% chance of a heart disorder and a predicted life expectancy of 30 years. After Irene discovers Vincent’s true identity as a fraudulent Valid, Vincent explains himself by relating to her own risk for heart failure that prevents her from embarking on long space flights. “But we do have one thing in common, only I don't have twenty or thirty years left in [my heart]. Mine is already ten thousand beats overdue. … You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? … For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible” (Niccol).

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