I know I’m late with the post but I still want to share what I thought of the first five chapters. First of all the introduction of the book gave me a good understanding of what to expect from Philip K. Dick’s characters. (Page viii) “These characters are often victims, prisoners, manipulated men and women.” Well these characters are victims, victims to the technology, surroundings, and themselves. So much of this can be discovered even on the opening of chapter 1-page 3, where it seems that every human owns a technology called the mood organ. This mood organ is what makes people feel a certain way just by dialing in a specific number. No longer is mood something a human can naturally experience. They can adjust their mood organ and schedule to be in a certain mood, even dial in a mood to feel in the mood to dial in on their mood organ (refer to page 6, bottom of the page) “I can’t dial a setting that stimulates my cerebral cortex into wanting to dial!”. I can relate the world in this book to our own world in real life, advanced technology that can do almost everything for you…need to find the latest movie out in theaters right now? There’s an app for that, or just ask Siri. Need to arm your home security system but no where near your home, there’s an app for that too. Yea, sure, it’s not as extreme as a mood organ but you get the point. throughout these five chapters there are some themes constantly brought up throughout the story. First, the word empty and all of its variations is constantly brought up in the story. To describe how empty, abandoned, and alienated post World War terminus earth is and all non-emigrant citizens , regulars and specials. I had fun trying to figure out the difference between the regulars and specials. The regulars are made to seem to be better than the specials, having a superior social status when they’re just as flawed and stuck in a dystopian earth living off its remains. Specials like John Isidore face alienation from the rest of humanity, the regulars, feeling the emptiness and abandonment of this post WWT earth he “Wasn’t wanted” (page 21) “They informed him in a countless procession of ways that he, a special, wasn’t wanted. He had no use.” With Rick I find ironic being the bounty Hunter he is of androids, robots, the artificial intelligence that they are…yet we find him owning an artificial sheep. Not only that he searches for a new animal but ends up thinking of settling for another ersatz sheep (Page 34 paragraph 3). All these artificial things even ersatz substitutes of food (page 26) and the artificial eyelashes he sees on Racheal Rosen mentioned in the top of page 40 . I feel there is some deep secrets within the Rosen Association connecting them with the 8 rogue nexus 6 androids. Why else go else go to such lengths to basically trick Rick into falsely accusing Racheal of being an android and then trying to blackmail him, even though she actually is an android.
I hadn’t thought about how similar the Mood Organ is to apps we use on our devices today. It’s almost like they can just press a button and say “There’s a mood for that!”.