Crowdsourcing what constitutes the “human” and the “authentic”

As part of our reading of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, we are exploring what it means to be human, in a world where both people and animals have their fake/electric/mechanical/non-living counterparts.

We are also exploring what authenticity means in a world where everything, including emotions (think the Penfield Mood organ), empathy (Mercerism), beings, products, etc. can be simulated. You might consider the andys, the Penfield Mood Organ, notions of empathy,  the implantation of false memories, the Voight-Kampff test, (etc.), as well as the following questions:

  • What defines a “human” or “humanity”?
  • What distinguishes the real/genuine/authentic from the fake/simulated/ersatz? What is missing/lost/sacrificed (if anything) in these replicas?

(You can think about all of these questions, but especially the first two, above, in relation to the article, “Japanese professor creates uncanny, human-like robots, exhibit website, Android: What is Human? that we’re looking at for this coming week)

 

  • Who/what serves who/what? Who are the masters and who are the slave? Who are the superiors and the inferiors?
  • What are the relationships (colleagues, friendship, sexual, love, etc.) between different types of beings?
  • What is a real “emotion” if it can be simulated on a Penfield mood organ and what is real empathy if it can be simulated through Mercerism (and tested, perhaps, by the Voight-Kampff)?
  • What about fertility/reproduction (with Deckard’s neighbor’s horse, with the regulars/specials, with Mercer bringing dead things back to life, with having to deal with a post-apocalyptic world that is mostly dead)?
  • What kinds of competing sets of values are at play?
  • What are central conflicts of the novel?

I am also particularly interested in us tracing how, through their interaction with andys (and their particular positions in the world: Bounty Hunter and special/chickenhead, respectively), Rick Deckard and John Isidore D-503 move from merely embodying values/norms of their society that they have have already internalized, to developing individual, (perhaps rebellious?), free-thinking understanding about the world and their places in it, and the hierarchy of beings (living and otherwise).

[The Logistics]

Just a reminder that you should make your at least one comment (just hit “reply,” either to my original post or to another comment on it) by Sunday (3/1). Then go back/read through all comments and extend the conversation by making at least two more comments (of course, more are always welcome!) in response by Tuesday 3/3. 

Your comment (reply) can be just a few sentences: provide the quote/citation and a quick explanation of how/why it functions in the context of some larger issue/question (or you can raise questions, complicate issues, extend discussions, analyze a character, or setting, etc. &/or discuss central conflicts/values/themes through the use of your evidence/analysis). Feel free to post multiple comments, and also to respond to others. If you’ve already discussed some of these instances in your previous blogs or in class, you should feel free to draw on that material.The goal is to have some good virtual discussions here to help you think critically about important themes/questions raised by this complex novel, and to find/analyze/synthesize various pieces of evidence in support of claim.

The goal in all cases is to provide specific examples from the text (quotes/citation) with discussion/analysis and some connection to a larger claim/argument. You must cite currently in MLA format (in-text citation).

Constant state of despair.

This was a really good read. I’m not on the “OMG DIS WAZ AMAZING” boat. It was more like calm “this was pretty good” reaction. I think the reason for that was because everything was not over the top. There was a somber tone throughout the book. Even when Deckard went for the final kill it was calm. Well more like he was calm. “He let Roy Baty fire once: he held his own fire until the laser beam had passed by him as he twisted out of the way.” This stood out to me because even though everything he went though, all the garbage he had to put up through. He was still able to remain calm and get the job done.  I guess the trap that Roy planned did not work on him. I kinda saw this coming, why else would he mention it.

I love how seamless Deckard and Isidor switch places. When they finally came face to face, it was quick and effortless. It made me understand that the person is not the important factor in that equation. Its more whats behind the scene. This was immediately shown when Deckard saw a physical manifestation of Wilbur Mercer. Even after it was discovered Mecersim was all a fake, Deckard slowly became the chicken head. We see Deckard slow fall into madness after finishing his mission still not felling any satisfaction. Or it could be he was having withdrawal since no one was feeling emphatic towards him. His constant attempt to talk to his superiors looking for that “You did good son”. “If I could just talk to Dace, he thought, I’d be alright”(pg. 232) is an indication of this.

Allow me if i can step back for a moment to mention how much of a horrible person Rachael is. When she was first introduced, I immediately had a bad taste in my mouth. When ever tries to swindle you, whats to stop them from doing it again. We are also told that this is not the first time the Rosen Association has done this. They have purposefully gone out on many occasions to stop bounty hunters from continue to hunt. I don’t clearly know what their purpose was but from what I understand Rachael knew the lose andys. Could be she was working together with them, or the Rosen Association just wanted to stop the hunting of their units all together.

What caught me off guard was in the middle of chapter 20 I paused to hop off the train. That whole walk home I felt pointless and sad. It wasn’t until i finished reading the book that I pulled my self out of that. Somehow my mind felt like I was Rick Deckard. Philip K. Dick did an excellent job immersing me into this world making me feel and think how this world works. By starting off with the introduction to this dark world. To even helping my understand that this world is not easy by crating happiness and instantly destroying it. It help me understand that this world is not a pleasant one. The future is not all dandelions and gum drops. Things can get a little scary but somehow there is a silver lining.

Mercer is the true Hero

This final section of the book was more of a Mental battle in the mind of The main protagonist Rick and John. The android Rachael reveals the purpose of the Rosen Coorperation “And we then have the Nexus-7. And when that gets caught we modify it again and eventually the association has a type that can’t be distinguished.” (p.75) This pretty much shows that the main villain of the entire story may actually just be the Rosen Corperation in their attempt to build human replicas. “I’m not alive! You’re not going to bed with a woman. Don’t be disappointed; okay? Have you ever made love to an android before?” (p.77) when I found out that Rachael’s main purpose is to pull out the empathy of bounty hunters towards androids making her retire Bounty hunters I was extremely surprised. “No bounty hunter ever has gone on,” Rachael said. “After being with me. Except one. (p.79)

I feel that Rick natural pride that he demonstrates in many of the other chapters is broken down as he is now put in a position where he doesn’t know if he can do his job due to one night with one android that he said he would marry.

John the character  related to had a terrible breaking point as the religion that connects him to the society that naturally looks down on him is destroyed. Buster Friendly (AN ANDROID!!) shows how Mercism is a sham. To top this off He watches as the two android women are torturing a spider which naturally shows him their lack of care for life.  So I think that Empathy boxes are magic genie lamps as “He opened his fingers. On his hand rested the mutilated spider, but with its snipped-off legs restored.” (p.86) sure in a later chapter I begin to wonder if is just a mechanical animal but still… WOW!

So In Chapter 19 our two main Protagonist finally meet and end up… not really liking each other “Isidore stammered, “I don’t w-w-want to live near you.”” (p.89) I feel he views him as the “crude murderous police dog” that his wife calls him in the beginning of the story for killing creatures who proven some capability to love for his own selfish needs for an living animal. 

So yeah Rachael killed Ricks New goat which i feel was a reflection of anger on 3 separate accounts.

1. He like Phil Resch resisted her ability to retire a Bounty Hunter.

2. He was able to kill her twin model Pris even after his claims too her about how he loves her and people who look like her (pretty much he had the balls to shoot Rachael.)

3. He was a Human running around killing Androids so its like a ironic twist as she an android walks up to a living creature and kills it( and to ruin him)

But what surprised me the most was his trip to the Carolina where he climbed an actual mountain but was discouraged as he realized that the true mean of Mercism was to connect society together in a form of physical/mental way. And He found a Frog… Mechanical but you know what Mercer changed the prideful Rick to something new… He turned Rick Into himself. Rick is Mercer.

Does it make sense to be underwhelmed?

As I said in class when asked how I felt about the novel; I’m a little disappointed. That mostly stems from the speed at which everything was ‘resolved’; in other words it felt really rushed. We go from the St. Francis Hotel, to Isidore’s apartment, to Rick’s apartment, then to some where up north of San Fran for some reason, then back to Rick’s apartment.

In regards to the androids, why develop characters only to give them such an unfulfilling and mundane end. The confrontation between Roy Baty and Rick was most underwhelming, especially due to to how fearful Rick made Baty out to be [chp(16):paragraph(3)]. Priss Stratton went to meet met her demise in half a page, even though she had a chapter or so dedicated to developing her [chp 6,7,18]. I suppose you could argue that the author was trying to paint them to ‘ultimately be a machine’. I just feel unfulfilled as these characters probably had more to offer, and should have put up more of a fight.

You might be saying that I’m glazing over very interesting details. That may be true, but in this case I’m viewing the narrative in macroscopic perspective. Take for example a forest. The insects, or the decay a fallen of a fallen tree, the activity going on in a small river, or the many other small elements that contribute to what we call a ‘forest’ may seem interesting. However its the culmination of all those parts together and seeing to where every ends up is what matters to me at the end of a plot. Which ultimately seems to be just Rick having a reconnect with his wife [chp 22:pp241-244].

Another gripe of mine of this story is Mercerism. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how this element is able to exist. As I understand it some old retired drunk somewhere in Indiana, communicates to everyone in the solar system through ’empathy’ boxes. What are empathy boxes? Who distributed them? Is this Wilber Mercer character some kind of powerful psionic? If so there’s no mention of it. How did he communicate with Rick [220:p4] without an empathy box? Whats with the barren terrain and the hill Wilbur is always trying to climb? I can see what it could mean, but what does it actually mean. All these questions seem to go unanswered, at least to me.

It seems all androids in the narrative have some sort of connection with each other. Almost as if they are working together to further their own cause. At the end of chapter 17, it seems as though Rachel knew what buster’s special was going to be about. On pages 208 and 209, the three androids also seemed to know what Buster was going to announce. When it was later revealed that Buster was an android it really cemented the idea in my head that they, all the androids, might be working with each other. In chapter 17, Rachel seems to allude to the fact that the Rosen Association had purposefully sent her to intervene in Rick’s hunt for the androids. If this is the case then we can assume that the Association is playing a large part in helping preserve renegade androids. If so, why?

Lastly my answer to the questions, “What does it mean to be human?” or “Is there a difference between humans and androids?” would simply be: does it really matter? One of the main plot points is that these androids are so advanced that the only way to determine their ‘race’ is if they have a certain amount of empathy. At that point is it really relevant to test them? They feel and cooperate with one another, and have the ability to want higher statuses for themselves. Aren’t humans just organic machines anyway?

The Andy that got away

Picking up on ch 16 we witness the encounter of Deckard and Rachel Rosen. He requested her help to retire the three remaining androids assigned to him, and when she reads the poop sheet on Pris Stratton she becomes upset. At first I thought that she felt identified with Pris, with them being the same android model, I even thought that she empathized with her, but we soon find out that she is in fact willing to retire her herself. With a flirtatious to and fro, Deckard and Rachel end up having sex. Right afterwards Rachel reveals herself as a Bounty Hunter Seducer, a kind of sexbot, assigned by the Rosen Association to sleep with and confuse bounty hunters to the point that they no longer desire to retire andys. Deckard feels angry at this betrayal, and is even willing to retire her, realizing that she had already resigned herself to die, a trait he thought all androids had in common. They basically lack the will to fight and survive that a true living organism with billions of years of evolution has (Ch. 17, p. 200). In the end lets her live with the pretext that she only has two more years until her artificial metabolism stops working and she becomes obsolete.

Back with John Isidore and we find that he is happy with finally having company, even though he is fully aware that the androids are using him, as he reflected:

You have to be with other people, he though. in order to live (Ch. 18, p. 204).

Not long after we hear the big “revelation” from Buster Friendly: Mercerism is a swindle. Or is it really? Between the torture of the spider by Pris and the TV announcement, Isidore seems to be having a breakdown, during which he manages to connect to his empathy box, somehow causing Wilbur Mercer to materialize on the spot. This part is somewhat confusing, as you’re not sure if his exchange with Mercer is happening in reality or in his head. Mercer uses his powers of resurrection to heal the tortured spider, causing Isidore to run away with it, bumping into Deckard on the way. Here again, the supposedly materialized form of Mercer somehow manages to warn Deckard about Pris Stratton who is hiding behind and rushing towards him, laser tube in hand. He retires her, and then proceeds to… somewhat easily, it seems… retire Roy and Irmgard Baty. Honestly I was expecting more of a showdown, with some eloquent speech from Roy before being destroyed. Instead we get Deckard admitting his love for Rachel Rosen.

Returning home, Rick finds that Rachel has killed his Black Nubian goat, and he proceeds to run off to the Oregon desert, where once again, things get confusing. Rick claims to have physically merged with Mercer, and as he begins walking up a hill, he takes a rock to the groin. It is never revealed who threw the rock. Maybe the fact that he is now one with Mercer makes rocks hurl themselves at him? Anyway, he goes back to his car, sniffs some snuff and sees a living toad, which are thought to be all extinct. The sight of the toad seems to bring a renewed energy to him. He captures it and enthusiastically runs home to show Iran. She discovers that the toad is an ersatz animal, and Rick is so mentally and physically tired that he just decides to go to bed. Iran kisses him to comfort him and this makes him pleased, like he was before knowing the toad was artificial. I guess in the end he realized that he is alive, he has his wife, and an animal, although fake. Rick Deckard ends the story in the same circumstances he was at the beginning.

Conclusion

Although entertaining at times, the more esoteric parts of the story were confusing, especially concerning Mercerism. Although a work of Science Fiction, DADOES introduced a heavy spiritual element with the religion, its followers and its practices. These were all very human concepts, not mechanical, digital or robotic.

I know it’s not due until next week, but I’m off to watch Blade Runner now, hoping for a better ending.

 

PS: Rachel Rosen killed Rick’s goat and got away with it. What a b*tch.

Oh, Wait. What Just Happened?

I think I can speak for the majority of the class that the ending to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep wasn’t as great as the rest of the novel. I feel that there was a definitely a huge change of direction from the first few and middle chapters to the final chapters of the book.

At first, as we all know, reading the book was exciting, and one could try to figure out, as they’re reading, what the next stage of events would take place, but there always seems to be a twist in the most shocking way possible, such as (which is one of my favorites) finding out that a whole “fake” police department were created and ran by androids, in order to throw Rick off his trail. I mean that was unexpectedly awesome.

But now, I start coming across all this stuff that I can’t begin to understand.

Oh, and here’s one of them: The little “sex” scene we encountered. For me, this was quite a shocker. For one, Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter that is specifically trained to hunt down and kill androids on Earth, and we know he has been doing this job for most of his life, but suddenly, out of the blue, after only seeing Ms. Rachael Rosen once before, he has the audacity to sleep with her. And two, she is a machine. She does not have feelings. She says, “I love you” (Dick 194), but even I would know that it’s impossible for her to even comprehend what that means.

I mean, I wouldn’t be able to understand that. She, or rather it works and was created for a company that has done some questionable things.

Then, to add a little spice to it, we discover that the whole thing was just a ruse. It was all planned out in order to change Deckard’s mind about the job he does. Inevitably, however, she fails, and Rick proceeds in finding the three missing androids.

Wow, that was such quick thinking. You should’ve thought of that before you went in bed with a robot, Rick.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. When we finally get to our final three androids on the list, what we expected and what actually happened were two totally different things. To me, I was expecting more of a resistance from the final three, and from what we heard about this Roy android on page 184-185 in Chapter 16, he isn’t the kind of android you’d want to piss off. I guess I was just expecting a mix of clichés; lasers flying all over the place and explosions, but you know what did happen? They all died pretty quickly with very little effort by Deckard’s hand. Oh, and with a little help from none other than ‘Mercer’ himself.

And that is where my brain exploded. Not in a good way, but in total confusion. I still don’t know who this Mercer guy really is, but from what I can tell, he is a religious figure.

To put in simple terms, he is accepted as ‘God’ by the general public.

And then the ending happened:

“I didn’t know what else to do at the end, so I just decided to end it with Rick going to sleep because, you know, he had a long day, and he needed some much needed rest,” says not-Philip K. Dick.

Yeah, that was certainly a surprising ending. I just made 6,000 dollars today so let’s just drink coffee and go to sleep.

I guess I can just say that was a little boring. I guess I was expecting something more badass; Harrison Ford would never do such a thing.

But, as a final statement: Overall, this was a fantastic read. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next in the course.

The End??? I Think Not!!!

Dios mio, that was such a suspenseful ending, like wow. So much happened, and the plot for this book escalated so well. so we start off with our hero, Ricardo, awaiting the arrival of the ever so stunning (at least to Ricardo) Rachel Rosen, who is in fact an android, in a pretty decent hotel room where they will discuss “business”, but is really a well set up opportunity to let Ricardo indulge in a fantasy to sleep with an adroid as previous mentioned by the one the only Phil Resch. That maniacal son of a bounty hunter mentioned to Ricardo that its a natural urge to feel in the profession of bounty hunter and that the only rule to sleeping with an android is killing them afterward, which is pretty sensible, in like a crazy sort of perspective, or outlook on life, such as the one that Phil has,cause hes kinda crazy, or to be put justly, desensitized to by the killing of many android units in his time as a hunter. Anyway, so Ricardo and Rachel get it on, and then its  back to the old grind for Ricky, and he gets right back to work on hunting those androids, but wait theres more. Now as previously mentioned in my other posts, the androids seem to want one thing, or strive for one thing, to understnd and in tuen, become more human, through the empathetic process, for what they do not understand, they loath and envy, they crave it, just as Ricardo craves a cooler animal (oh btw he got a goat and thats important). so we see the android Rachel kinda express her understandning of human emotion when she shows signs of jelously towards, get this, Ricardos Goat, his black nubian goat is Rachels new worst enemy (p.202). I thought that this was interesting, that we as the readers are finding more depth to the android class of character this late in the game, for theres another instnace of human like characteristics that fall under empathy, expressed through Rachel yet again when she mentions Luba Luft as her friend, and that they had been friends for two years (p.199) only after however she explains how much of a cold calculating souless machine she is by explaining her deceit to Ricardo, stating that this isnt the first time that a bounty hunter has slept with her, telling him that every single time afterwards, the hunters attitudes was changed towards killing the androids, the special case being The One, The Only Phil Resch, since hes kinda crazy (p.198). Still its quite interseting to see how much thought Dick (the author but you already knew that) and effort was put into the complexity of these characters, especially the androids. Rachel is portrayed, not as a cold hearted bitch, but as a tool that has to be a cold hearted bitch, she Bribed Ricky, slept with him to change his sentiments toward killing androids, which spoiler alert, didnt work since he succesfully killed the remaing three on his list, and last but not least, the icing on the cake, murdered his Goat (p.227-228). This is the interesting part, for she did it out of Jealousy a common human trait, and empathatic response that is usualy the reslut of an insecurity or threat towards someone, or in this case something besides the person feeling the emotion. she made no attemot at being sneaky, and quietly taking the goat out, oh no. she went out of her way to make her presence known to those on the roof, Ricardos neighbor Barbour, and literally pushed the goat off the roof and left, like she was queen bee sending a message. I find that very interesting in a character who isnt supposed to have a motive to commit a crime thats severly punishable by law, on top of the fact that shes an android killing sacred life.

Another crazy turn of events is that Future Jesus is both non existent, and a total bad-ass. What happened was that Buster Friendly, an android sent from the future to destroy future jesus (that was a terminator joke but whatever) disproved Mercerism down to a set of films made by an old hollywood movie maker/drunkard which had the androids super ecstatic and that its a total sham and those who practiced it, Humans, are stupid for doing it (p. 205-211). In between a whole bunch of other stuff happened with the androids at J.R.’s place and he kinda lost his senses and all of his belief and sense of self was, just as Mercerism was moments prior, totally destroyed and he lost his mind for a bit, seeing the graphic nature of his self imposed lonely and meaningless existence without his belief and manifest in a created world which was crumbling and deteriorating all around him(p.211-214). BUT WAIT, theres more. It turns out that Mercerism is indeed a fake, but Mercer and the power he posses isnt, for he went and spoke to J.R. and told him to stiffen up that upper lip and keep on keeping on, to roll with the punches, and that no matter what, whether or not J.R. stops searching for Mercer, that Mercer will never stop searching for him, and that he will always have his back (p. 214-215). I thought that was amazing, to give hope to an already damaged character, (but then to strip it all away when Ricardo kills his android friends) and sort of repair him, yet still leaving him vulnerable and confused. The idea behind Mercerism, in my opinion, is a simple one, hope. Hope in a world such as this is necessary, when the populace relies on machines to feel and cant hold relations with themselves very well is an essential game piece in this messed up universe. And Mercer shows that he has hope for all that seek him by helping Ricky, not once, but twice, once by warning him of impending android attack, saving him from the hardest kill he had to do in his career and guiding him through it (p. 220-221) from the android Pris Stratton, who looked like Rachel, and was so hard for him because he kind of fell in love with her, in a weird turn of events, and again when Ricky had given up and was on the verge of killing himself, by fusing and becoming one with Rick (p. 234), Mercer helped Ricardo understand that his role in life is essential and something that will ultimately have to happen whether he Ricky likes it or not. He gave him a new understanding and outlook on life, especially when he found a toad in the dessert (it was fake though) (p. 236). this new outlook did so much as to put a smile on his face and be happy and relieved for the first time in a long time, as mentioned by his wife when he returned home (p. 239) which was great to see in our dark and complex protagonist. We see Mercer as the light at the end of the tunnel, the light that shines and protects the weak, the beacon of hope for a race of people who have none. Yes it was tainted and destroyed by Buster, an android who has no understanding, no concept of hope or empathy, but it will live on through Ricardo, and the rest of the world who still need something to cling too.

All in all, it was a great read, 10 out of 10, master piece, i would re read it again just for fun. Its chock full of complex plot, meaning, and symbolism, as well as a lot of fun to read, and an exciting adventure into a future that may or may not exist one day.

Cant wait to talk about this.

Yummz

Do we dream of electric lovers ?

In the final chapters of Phillip’s K. Dick novel – “Do androids dream of electric sheep” we read about a new, intense twist of events. Rick Deckard through his curiosity finds himself in a kind of close relationship with an attractive female Nexus-6 android called Rachel Rosen. Rachel is on the most advanced, important member in Rosen Association. Because of that Rachel cannot afford a luxury of becoming an independent android. Everything she does is for the good of corporation she serves. Deckard finds Rachel attractive, he desires her in a way humans desire one another. Naturally as a curious guy, Deckard makes a move on her just to find out how it is to make love to a machine. Rachel doesn’t care about Rick or his feelings. Seducing Deckard is just a way for Rachel to distract his investigation against other disobedient androids similar to Rachel. It’s the only way Deckard can be stopped from “retiring” other andys.

I believe Philip K. Dick wants to show a contrast between real love and fake love, or maybe lust in this weird case. Rick has a wife which he supposedly loves, however as time passes by he stops seeing the coldness of machines in androids, not only that he somehow fantasizes about intimate life with an android. Because androids don’t have empathy and are basically talking dolls, very sophisticated, but dead inside anyways. We get a grim, serious, emotional, rational, and existential conflict. What is it to love a dead thing? And another one. Is cheating with a machine a type of affair or bizarre way of masturbation? (After all it’s just a dead thing that gives you pleasure just like any other sex toy). Is there a way for a human being to cheat itself into believing that dead talking dolls are just as good as humans? Or better yet, imagine a child raised by androids without knowing it. Andys so sophisticated they can pass voight-kampff empathy test. If child doesn’t know that it’s being raised by machines it will probably think androids are just as real as humans. What if we humans are just “operating systems” inside meat coated skeletal machines called human bodies and programmed in different world by Mercer like entity called god… Ok, I got carried away a little with wild, impossible (I hope) ideas. But my approach to this incident between Rachel and Rick boils down to one scary question, what does it mean to be real and living? What do you guys think, I demand comments 🙂 !!!

“The electric things have their lives too.”

As the novel comes to an end, one of the biggest things I took away from the final chapters was Rick’s transformation and emersion into Wilbur Mercer. In addition to this, we also understand that “Mercerism” is said to be a false religion by Buster Friendly. However, Deckard claims it is real. It’s as real as you make it to be. In chapter 21 Rick tells his secretary “Mercer isn’t a fake,” he said. “Unless reality is a fake.” Throughout the novel, especially within these last couple of chapters, we as readers are constantly question one thing against the other. What makes humans different than androids, electric animals versus real animals, and reality versus virtual reality? I believe it’s P.K.D’s way of saying that it really doesn’t matter. In my opinion, Iran had it right all along when she felt bad for those “andy’s” in the beginning. You see toward the end of the novel that they themselves show levels of emotion and empathy, especially when Rick shoots Mrs. Baty. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Baty,” Rick said, and shot her. Roy Baty, in the other room, let out a cry of anguish. “Okay, you loved her,” Rick said. “And I loved Rachael. And the special loved the other Rachael.” (pg. 112 PDF version). Here the android showed their sign of emotion and empathy, crying in pain as his loved one died. Again, this is P.K.D’s way of challenging us to question what it is that makes us human, and whether or not androids are really that much different.

Another interesting way P.K.D. uses challenging themes is when determining what is real versus what is fake. This ties directly with the question of human versus non-human or “humanoid.” Humans are perceived to be the “real” ones while andy’s are the “fake” ones. But it gets blurred, as we see Rick falling in love with Rachel and John falling in love with Pris Stratton. However, we also see this when trying to determine the difference between real and fake in terms of our own consciousness. Wilbur Mercer begins to appear outside of the empathy box to Rick and John. Objects that hit Rick and John manifest themselves as real wounds when they are no longer in the empathy box. In addition, we see that Phil Resch is indeed a human, but you’d never know by the way he acts and his lack of empathy. It is this constant question of what is real versus what is not.

All in all I think the novel was a great way to make us evaluate ourselves as human beings. All of us are equal, despite any differences we may have. Rick begins to realize this as he questions the morality of killing androids. Toward the end, he asks Mercer and his wife if what he is doing is wrong, which he did not do before. He says to his wife “You were right this morning when you said I’m nothing but a crude cop with crude cop hands.” (chpt. 21 pg.121 pdf). Rick begins to have empathy with electric things, and is symbolically represented through the toad, which he now views through Wilbur’s point of view. It isn’t fake unless reality is fake.

Last Chapters Do andys dream of electric sheep (16-22)

Reading the last chapters you can say that some events were predictable. To be honest i was very confused at the ending. I started to wonder what is left after all of this. I was not happy by the conclusion but i guess its the message also known as the big picture is what matters. Even the big picture can get a bit distracting also. When all is summarized about the androids you start to realize that androids had the same mission of slaves in the early 1800s which was to escape and get a better life. In a way when rick talks about roy baty in the beginning of chapter 16, i began to think about the ways of nat turner.

I later becomes distracted on who rick really is. In chapter 17 I start to wonder why would he fall for a trap like that if he knew what type of person Rachel was. In a way i respect Rachel in her ways to try to save her others but you can really see that rick had deep emotions for her because he became upset finding out he wasn’t the only bounty hunter. When bring up buster friendly again in chapter 18 it brings up my point that i stated in previous chapters talking about how he is a form of propaganda.

I feel that chapter 19 becomes a big climax in the story it starts to build up at the end of the 2nd paragraph – the 5th. At this point the androids know its their turn to go. With good suspicion placed in becoming anxious and with the andys getting retired and one retaliating killing ricks goat i was feeling that the ending would be where rick’s life gets put on the line.