Vincent and Irene live in the future of scientific advances when being born in a natural way means to be procreated in a test-tube so that any weaknesses or diseases are avoided in advance. Perfection is the key to succeed within the system. Although Vincent and Irene both work ambitiously in the elite at Gattaca Corporation, they differ in their "values", their opinion about the system, and their sense (philosophy) of life.
In an era of perfection, Irene is procreated in the "natural" way; she is a test-tube baby who is almost genetically perfect. In this way she is chosen to become one of the elite who works for Gattaca Corporation. Her status within the system is called "valid". In contrast, Vincent is a child of a "faith" birth. His parents procreate him because they love each other - he is a child made by love. After delivery, the genetic test of his blood stamps him immediately "invalid", for, unfortunately, the probability of diseases and possible medical complaints in the near future is immensely high. For him, it is out of the question to become an astronaut or to get another equal position just because of his "invalid" status.
While Irene is totally convinced of the system and its methods, Vincent doesn't believe that he can't become what he wants just because his genes report a probability of any limitations. Irene is an ambitious employee at Gattaca. She tries to finish her daily duties on time without any doubts that there might be any more challenges in life. She does what she is told; she is so completely adapted to the idea of Gattaca that she "would lie down and die at the allotted minute because she would feel guilty if she lived a minute longer than her profile proscribed." (1) However, Vincent is convinced that he can make his dream come true in spite of his existing weaknesses. He is obsessed with his fancy to become a space traveler while he works ambitiously and eagerly to overrule the system's prognosis.