There is No Gene for Fate
Kim Hong Taeeun  |  smt_tek@sm.ac.kr
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승인 2017.06.23  00:50:16
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With all the changes from the development of technology, what part of your life do you think will be the most affected?  Many ideas will pop into mind, and it is also likely that most of those ideas will be related to employment.  Today, it is often said that artificial intelligence will take away people’s jobs in the near future.  Though people fear and are preparing for competition against ‘robots’, they shouldn’t ignore the competition within themselves, too.  For example, what if eugenics becomes the norm in society?  Can you imagine what society would be like if an individual’s future solely depended on their genes?  Well, according to ‘Gattaca’, this very idea becomes reality in the future.  



Life as an “In-Valid” 

All his life, Vincent Freeman dreamt of going to space.  He is smart, knows everything there is to know about space, and of course is passionate, more than anyone else. However, none of this matters.  There is just one thing used to decide whether he is suited to work at Gattaca Aerospace, a blood test.  
While the film makes no clear indication of its time period, audiences can quickly realize it is set in a “not-too-distant future”.  With technology continuously developing, people skilled in improving the genetic quality of humans have appeared.  These eugenics professionals ensure the quality of genes.  In the film, Mr.  and Mrs.  Freeman decide not to seek the help of eugenics experts for their first son, Vincent, and as soon as he is born, his entire life is predetermined for him, and he is told how and when his life will end.  
Regretting their decision, the Freeman’s decide to ask eugenicists for help with their second son, Anton.  With only the best genes from his parents, Anton grows up healthy, with no trouble.  Vincent is naturally weaker than his younger brother, and since childhood, Vincent’s dream is ignored and laughed at.  Still, he does not give up and applies to Gattaca Aerospace.  Though he is intelligent and passionate, he fails admissions because he was born as an “in-valid”.  Being an “in-valid” means prevention from any sort of professional job, but having to accept menial positions instead.  With no exception, Vincent had to be satisfied with a job as a janitor at Gattaca Aerospace.  Optimistically, he sees this as a step closer to his goal, but this thought doesn’t last long.  One afternoon, he watches a rocket blast off as he mops the roof of Gattaca Aerospace and says, “I was never more certain of how far away I was from my goal than when I was standing right beside it.” Vincent comes to a conclusion that he can no longer afford to waste his life and sets up a meeting with Jerome Morrow.  With the help of Jerome, Vincent becomes a “borrowed ladder”.  That is, he borrows the gene structure of a “valid” to disguise himself as one. Vincent goes through a very painful process, but it is his belief that the pain he endures will lead him closer to his goal.  


Breaking Limits

The idea of keep going, regardless of the risks, to accomplish one’s dream is probably what moved the audience.  Even though the world tells you that you are not capable of something, Vincent’s actions show us that nothing is impossible.  The film upholds our belief that we must believe in our infinite potential and chase after what our hearts desire. Sookmyungians, never feel you are inferior and not as good as others.  Nothing and no one has the right to set limits on your dreams.  


MOVIE Gattaca (1997)

Ethan Hawk (Vincent Freeman) / Jude Law (Jerome Morrow) / Uma Thurman (Irene Cassini)


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