How do we deal with death?

As we move further into the book, the story really starts to pick up. We now see how some of the characters begin to deal with death. Rick is now on the trail of the escaped Andy’s and each interaction with them causes him to call into question his actions. The chickenhead Isodore deals with the loss of a cat during his pickup. And the possible Andy with false memories, Resch must deal with how he must deal with the new knowledge that his memories are fake, and what he must do now that he may be what he has always hunted. From these three instances, we see how a character from different walks of life, or even being different life forms deals with the idea of death.

In chapter seven, John Isodore goes to pick up what he feels is a defective electric cat. On the ride to the shop, he attempts to see what is wrong with the animal, and doesn’t realize that it is in fact a real cat. During the ride, he thinks about how much this affects him, even being an electric animal [1]. When he gets to the office, his boss Mr. Sloat makes fun of him for not realizing that it was fake, and forces him to deal with the distraught customer [2]. Of all the men in the office, only John seemed to care about the death.

Throughout chapters 8 and 9, we see Deckard go to work at hunting the Andy’s. He goes about it in a callous way. When he first meets Polokov, who is pretending to be the soviet policeman who Deckard is [3] supposed to meet, upon realizing that he is the android, he destroys it. Thinking back to the encounter as he calms down, he thinks about the money he just made, and that he has a faster reaction than Holden [4]. His mind is more worried about making the money to replace his electric sheep that the loss of “life” doesn’t seem to affect him. Later on in the book, Deckard struggles with his views on retiring Andy’s but that can be discussed at a later time.

After attempting to deal with Ms. Luft the opera singer/Andy, he is taken to an unknown Hall of Justice in Chapter 10. Here he meets a few more of the androids, including Resch, who, while his occupation is a bounty hunter, doesn’t know if he is an android due to Garlands misinformation. Garland tells Deckard that Resch has false memories, and doesn’t know that he is an Andy, but when told that he just might be, he insists that Deckard give him the test to see if he is. [5] As he talks to Deckard about it, “his voice, husky and tormented, broke off.” He asks Deckard if he doesn’t want him to take it. After taking the test, he finds out that he really is a human. This result has Deckard start to rethink what he previously thought about how humans empathize with each other. Its interesting to see that Resch was willing to be retired if he actually was an Andy.

Of the three John Isidore seems to be the one who deals with death with the most humanity. In his society, he is considered less than human, but he acts more human than any other character in the book. When dealing with death around him, he seems to handle it well. Deckard thinks only about the money, and Resch could almost not deal with the fact that he might not be human. Deckard’s interactions through these chapters with the rest of the characters slowly changes his views on the subject, and whether he can even retire them any more. Chapter 16 ends with Deckard heading to a hotel to meet up with Rachael to “talk” about dealing with the remaining Andy’s. We will only see what happens in the next exciting installment of reading.



[1] Chapter 7 pg. 72 last paragraph.

[2] Chapter 7 pg 79 first paragraph.

[3] Chapter 8 pg. 92

[4] Chapter 8 pg. 93

[5] Chapter 11 pg. 129

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