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The Characters of Gattaca

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1 The Characters of Gattaca
By Blair, Eilish, Karishma, Hritika, Liam and Olivia.

2 Vincent Freeman In Gattaca, the characters’ names have a significant meaning to the personalities of each character. Vincent means “to conquer” and Freeman refers to being a free man. Vincent’s name is relevant in Gattaca as he strives to fulfil his dreams and will not halt until they’re achieved. It also is related to Vincent being born an “in-valid” and he ignores the stereotypes placed upon him at birth due to his imperfections. ‘Freeman’ is ironic during the beginning of the film as Vincent will seemingly never be able to be free to live his own life and follow his dreams. However, once he becomes a “borrowed ladder” and uses a “valid” man’s DNA, he is much closer to what he aspires to be.

3 Vincent’s costumes throughout the film also represent the individual’s personality. He goes from the typical trashy janitor stereotype, wearing boiler suits that refer to the genetically inferior, to wearing the dark suits of the Gattaca employees, representing the genetically superior.

4 Irene Cassini Irene is of Greek origin and means “peace”. Throughout the movie Irene is never a character to cause problems, and she helps Vincent when it seems he will be discovered for using someone else’s DNA to work in GATTACA. Cassini is the name of a scientist who discovered many of Saturn’s moons. The space mission Vincent is part of is bound for Saturn and so we know from the time we find out where Vincent is going on this mission that he will have close ties to Irene in the film. Irene is the love interest in the film, and her costume consists of the dark suits and silver dress.

5 In Gattaca, Irene is the perfect unobtainable female
In Gattaca, Irene is the perfect unobtainable female. Throughout the film, she is one of the only female characters shown, showing that she is the superior female. Although she is supposedly genetically superior, she has her one genetic flaw that affects her lives dramatically. Once Irene finds out that Vincent is not who he says he is, she somewhat admires Vincent for completing what he has done, as he has been able to look past the fact that he is not genetically perfect and pursued what he wanted to do. There is irony in the fact that although these genetically modified “valids” were supposed to be the superior humans, Irene, Jerome and Anton couldn’t be the most successful people in their areas of expertise. Irene wasn’t able to fly to Titan due to having a heart defect, despite being genetically modified, Anton became a detective, despite supposedly being able to be whatever he wanted to be, and was in a lower class of the valid society. And Jerome, no matter how hard he tried, could only manage to come second in whatever he did.

6 Jerome Eugene Morrow Jerome is close spelling to “genome” which is an organism’s genetic information. Eugene (the name Jerome assumes once Vincent takes his identity) is almost eugenics – a practice which involves eliminating imperfections in DNA, which is present in GATTACA as they attempt to modify people’s genes to make them a perfect specimen for what their parents or society want them to be or do. We don’t see much of Jerome’s costume during the film, but we mostly see him in black suits, showing that he is an important part of society, a valid.

7 Morrow can be interpreted in the film as meaning “tomorrow” which could be received as a reference as to who someone will be or what they will do tomorrow. For example, due to the technology and intelligence people have in the film, somebody could change their identity over night as long as they had the right contacts and ties.

8 Anton Freeman The name Anton means “praiseworthy”. When Vincent was born, his mother wanted to call him Anton, but the father refused and insisted on calling him Vincent because his first born son was an “in-valid” and was undeserving of the name. So they saved it for their genetically modified and near perfect second son, believing he was the more admirable and more praiseworthy of the two. Ironically when Anton is looking for Vincent, Anton is jealous that Vincent has become successful, as Anton was supposed to be the successful child, but is still only a detective and not of the higher class of the valid society.

9 Other Important Characters
The Detective The Janitor The Doctor

10 The use of stereotypical characters shows a world of uniformity, with no creativity within society, only a world that follows an order, a rule where no individual can express themselves. Although the valid people in society have a huge advantage over in-valids, they do not have the ability to decide what they want to be in society, that decision is already decided before they are born. In Gattaca, the characters are very stereotypical. We have the typical, monotone, boring doctor wearing a white coat, the generic detective that wears the cliché trench coat and hat, and the subservient janitor, wearing his boiler suit.

11 Relationships between Characters
Vincent & Irene – love interest. Vincent & Jerome – the brotherly relationship where Jerome respected Vincent and accepted that although Vincent was different, he was deserving of equal treatment. Vincent & Anton – brotherly relationship fuelled by jealousy and competition.

12 Vincent & Irene Vincent and Irene form a close bond after sharing the same ambition of travelling to Titan. Irene is this perfect, superior female, who is the perfect unobtainable, and Vincent accepts the challenge of trying to obtain her, as Vincent is a man who is willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals. Despite supposedly being perfect human beings, both Irene and Vincent share similar heart defects, with Irene’s affecting her chances of going to Titan. When Vincent’s identity is revealed to Irene, she is shocked, but eventually accepts Vincent for who he is, showing the overcoming of genoism.

13 Vincent & Jerome Vincent and Jerome’s have a close relationship during the film. At first, Jerome is astounded by Vincent’s stupidity, and cannot believe that Vincent will be able to maintain Jerome’s identity, but once Vincent pulls it off, Jerome develops a sense of accomplishment and develops a close bond with Vincent. Jerome is like a brother to Vincent, and in some cases is like the brother Vincent never had, as because Anton was genetically modified, he always tried to be better than Vincent, and Vincent eventually pushes himself away from Anton and the rest of his family. Although Jerome has this superior attitude towards Vincent, once Jerome starts to trust and confide in Vincent, he begins to realise that Vincent isn’t so different than himself. In the movie, the valids and in-valids are generally separated, with the valids believing that the in-valids are not capable of accomplishing great things, and therefore discriminate against the in-valids. Vincent and Jerome’s relationship is proof of the overcoming of genoism, that despite their genetic differences they share common traits and values.

14 Vincent & Anton Vincent and Anton are blood-brothers in the film, with the only difference between them being that Anton was genetically modified to be superior. They share a close bond whilst growing up, with Anton constantly bragging that he is better than Vincent. They constantly play a game called chicken, where they swim out as far as they can before turning back. We constantly see the two swimming in the film, with Anton winning most of the time. Vincent is fuelled with envy that Anton can swim further than him, that he uses all of his energy swimming out to sea, never saving any for the trip back. We see in the film the liberation of the swimming, the freedom that the ocean allows Vincent, with the seaweed acting as restriction from going further. The swimming motif represents the endless possibilities that are available for Vincent, with the seaweed acting as the restriction to the access of those possibilities, metaphorically implying that the seaweed is his genes. When Vincent and Anton swim out to sea when they are teenagers, we see Vincent “conquer” the chicken game, having to save Anton and bring him back to shore.

15 Throughout the film, we see Anton as a detective trying to find his brother in Gattaca. Anton’s search is fuelled by jealousy and pride, with Anton being angry that Vincent has been able to become an employee at Gattaca, whereas Anton is only a detective. Anton is annoyed that Vincent is superior to him, and is dumbfounded by how Vincent could’ve beaten him in the swimming and got a better job than him.


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