Essay Question

Roy Batty’s last words in Blade Runner:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time…like tears in rain.

Time to die.

Here’s another passage, this one from Jorge Luis Borges, that genius who could evoke so much with so few words. This is an abridged version of his already brief piece The Witness:

In a stable that stands almost within the shadow of the new stone church, a man with gray eyes and a gray beard, lying amid the odors of the animals, humbly seeks death as one seeks for sleep… The man sleeps and dreams, forgotten. Church bells awaken him. By now the sound of the bells is familiar in England. But this man, as a child, saw the face of Woden, the holy dread and exultation, the rude wooden idol laden with Roman coins and heavy vestments, the sacrifice of horses, dogs, and prisoners. Before dawn he will die, and in him will die, never to return, the last eye-witness of those pagan rites. The world will be a little poorer when this Saxon man is dead.

…Something, or an infinite number of things, dies in every death, unless the universe itself possesses a memory…

In the course of time there was a day that closed the last eyes to see Christ…

And at that moment, Christ ceased to be a tangible person in the minds of humanity and became a purely historical figure.

Compare Borges’s piece with Roy Batty’s last words.

(Essay question, 20 points.)

Extra credit: Just before his last words, Roy Batty is about to kill Deckard. Why do you think he changes his mind and pulls Deckard to safety?