Gattaca Essay Prompts

Movie: GATTACA

Synopsis of Movie

One man defies a system obsessed with genetic perfection. Ethan Hawke stars as Vincent, an "In-Valid," who assumes the identity of a member of the genetic elite to pursue his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. However, a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect. With a relentless investigator in pursuit and the colleague he has fallen in love with beginning to suspect his deception, Vincent's dreams steadily unravel. (Rating PG-13)

Biology Principles

Nature vs Nurture
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
Genetic Screening

DNA profiling
Human rights
Genetic modification (recombinant DNA)

GATTACA

1. At Vincent's birth, doctors already knew how he would die. What was Vincent's life expectancy and what would he likely die from?

2. Compare how Vincent's brother was brought into the world to how Vincent was brought into the world. Did the doctor feel that some traits should be left to chance? Why or why not.

3. The doctor stated: "The child is you, simply the best of you". What does this mean?

4. Scenes of the two brothers childhood imply certain differences in the physique. List some obvious differences between Vincent and his brother.

5. "My real resume' was in my cells." What does this statement mean? What kind of job did Vincent end up with? What was his real goal?

6. Describe the process by which Vincent became Jerome?

7. How was Vincent treated differently as Jerome?

8. What procedures did Vincent go through to prevent his DNA from being discovered (and his ruse being discovered)

9. Did the doctor at Gattaca know all along that Jerome wasn't who he was? What gave him away at the end?

10. Why did the real Jerome go along with Vincent's scheme?


Essay: Choose one of the following (Essay should be approximately 5 paragraphs long, and use language specific to genetics and biotechnology)

1. The caption of the movie reads: "There Is No Gene for The Human Spirit". Describe what this means in the context of Vincent's struggle to overcome his perceived genetic disadvantages. Is nature (DNA) more important than nurture (home environment) in determining whether a person will be successful or not. Defend you answer.

2. Genetic screening for some diseases already exists - children are tested for PKU at birth. It is conceivable that the number and scope of testing of newborns may broaden in the future. Do you think that newborns should be tested for other traits, such as alcoholism, heart problems, or even intelligence? If tests can be performed on a newborn or even an adult, who has the right to your genetic information - do employers, do spouses, and do insurance companies have the right to your profile. Defend your position.

STUDENT VIDEO RELEASE FORM

District guidelines require parental/guardian approval to show a "PG/PG-13" rated video to students.  We will be viewing the video “GATTACA” in class as part of a unit on genetics and bioethics.

This film is rated "PG13" because of the following:  Profanity and strong language.

Synopsis
“There is No Gene for the Human Spirit”
One man defies a system obsessed with genetic perfection.  Ethan Hawke stars as Vincent, an “In-Valid,” who assumes the identity of a member of the genetic elite to pursue his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation.  However, a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect.  With a relentless investigator in pursuit and the colleague he has fallen in love with beginning to suspect his deception, Vincent’s dreams steadily unravel

Biology Principles

Nature vs Nurture
Pre-implantation and genetic diagnosis
Genetic Screening
DNA profiling
Human rights
Genetic modification (recombinant DNA)

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE:
Circle one:

I give my approval for ____________________________ _____________ (student name) to view this video.

I do not approve and want _______________________________________ (student name) to participate in the alternate assignment.

SIGNATURE ________________________________________________________

If you do not approve, the alternate learning experience will be:  Student will research issues in bioethics (from internet and library sources) and prepare a report.

Gattaca Essay

664 Words3 Pages

The story of Vincent shows in Gattaca that there is possibility of beating the genetic engineering system. Vincent is one of the last naturally born babies born into a sterile, genetically enhanced world, where life expectancy and disease likelihood are ascertained at birth. Myopic and due to die at 30, he has no chance of a career in a society that now discriminates against your genes, instead of your gender, race or religion. Vincent an invalid, dreams of working within Gattaca and making it into space. He combines with Jerome who was disabled in an accident to take his identity and live his life to enter the Gattaca Corporation. Vincent is selected for his lifelong desire, a manned mission to Titan.

But did Vincent really beat genetic…show more content…

He gained help from the cleaner which took his cup of water, which was his previous boss when he was a cleaner at Gattaca.

Constantly passing gene tests by diligently using samples of Jerome's hair, skin, blood and urine, his now perfect world is thrown into increasing desperation, his dream within reach. The mission director is killed and he carelessly loses an eyelash at the scene, which puts Vincent/Jerome at the scene. Certain that they know the murderer's ID, but unable to track down the former Vincent, the police start to close in, with extra searches, and new gene tests. With the once in a lifetime launch only days away, Vincent must avoid arousing suspicion, while passing the tests, evading the police, and not knowing whom he can trust.

But as the film come to an end you could see Vincent’s valid perfect world was coming to a discrete stop by his brother trying to convict him of the fraud at Gattaca. Vincent unwilling tells Anton that it is to far now and that he has beaten the system to let him fly to space. All of Vincent’s and Jerome’s effort and hardship been put into this launch, and he would never let his own brother which was a genetically engineered male stop his path to his life long dream. Jerome shows how elitist the valid are and how they look down on

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