So thats how it ends?

Upon finishing the book I was not to thrilled with the ending, but we will get to that later. Chapter sixteen starts with Rick waiting in a hotel room for Rachel Rosen. One line he says on pg 184 is “Do androids dream?” I love how the author includes little things like this that connect to the title and the whole point of the book. I hope the film has this scene with Harrison Ford asking the question to connect it with the book. Back the story Rachel shows up with bourbon and ends up getting drunk, she talks about how Pris Stratton is the same model as she is. After talking about it she convinces Rick to go to bed with her, but he says he can’t because he will retire Pris later on and she looks just like her. Rachel says she will retire Pris and the two go to bed together.

In the next chapter Rick and Rachel leave together and he tells her that if it was legal he would marry her. I find this very odd because he is a bounty hunter and even though he has been going through weird feelings as of late, he is still a bounty hunter and he has a wife at home waiting for him to come home. However it is good though that he is actually having feelings going through him and his mind instead of just controlled ones. Rachel tells Rick that he won’t be able to hunt androids anymore because no bounty hunter can sleep with her and then hunt again. except for Phil Resch. This shows that Phil Resch was connected to all of this from the beginning and it makes you think how many bounty hunters has she actually slept with. Rick feels threatened upon this new information and accuses Rachel of knowing the other androids, she kind of just shrug’s him off and tells him to pay attention to the Buster Friendly show tonight because it is going to be interesting.

The next chapter begins with us back with John Isidore and the wanted androids. The are all gathering around the TV to watch Buster Friendly’s announcement, however while the androids gather around to watch John finds something incredible. John actually finds a spider which are supposed to be extinct. Amazed by this he shows Pris and she asks why does a spider need all those legs? and John says they just do. Not believing this Pris begins to cut the legs off of the spider. While in the background Buster Friendly announces that Wilbur Mercer is a fraud, That he is an actor that uses a sound stage to get people to believe his acts. Meanwhile Pris cuts off half of the legs of the spider and it attempt to crawl away proving Pris right. In this moment John just loses it all at once he takes the spider and drowns it to end its misery, The androids can’t decide if he is upset about Mercer or the spider. The androids then realize that the empathy box are fake and kind of decide that it is something they can’t chase after anymore. I feel like in that moment humans were almost just like androids because this thing they thought was helping them feel empathy was fake, so this whole time they were feeling nothing. In that moment humans were just as empty as androids. Back to Isidore he begins to freak out so much he actually hallucinates the world around him falling apart, he then sees the the spider he drown walking across the floor with all of his legs and John believes that Mercer is near. John sees Mercer and he asks him if the story is true in which he admits it is true, but then an alarm goes off waking John up from this hallucination, Rick had arrived to retire the androids.

The next chapter begins and John is sent in to the hall to meet the bounty hunter, on his way in the hall John releases the spider to go outside, Rick finds him and asks why he is letting it go and Isidore responds with “I have to other wise the androids will hurt it”. This basically gave up the androids without John trying to give them up. Rick is warned by mercer that there is an android on the steps. Rick is then thrown off because it looks like Rachel, but he looks past is after she lunges after him and he retires her. Rick then heads to the apartment where the Batys are waiting for him, He knocks on the door pretending to be John, but the android knows better and shoots at him. Roy Baty misses him and Rick then shoots Irmgard Baty retiring her and he does the same to Roy. He then leaves telling John not to go back there, but he had already seen the body of Pris.

The next chapter starts with Rick telling Bryant that he finished retiring the rest of the androids. On his way out John tells Rick that he is going to move in closer to the city so he is closer to more people, Rick offers him an apartment in his building and John refuses saying he does not wanna live the close to him. I feel like John refuses ricks offer because he looks at Rick as a monster who has no empathy or feelings at all making him just as bad as the androids. Rick heads home and he is told by his wife that someone has killed the goat. It turns out the description Iran gave him was perfect for Rachel. This makes me think immediately to the quote “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn”. I think this right away because maybe Rachel was jealous that after everything he was going home to Iran or maybe she wanted to threaten him back like how he threatened her.

In the next chapter Rick goes out I guess to vent after learning his goat was killed. While in his car he tries to call Dave Holden in the hospital, but despite all of his efforts the doctor tells him that he can’t talk to him. Rick then stops at a hillside and starts walking up it feeling defeated because maybe he finally learned how to really feel something that is not produced by some machine. While on the hill he begins getting hit by rocks really hard, he then thinks he sees Mercer but is mistaken by his shadow. After that whole fiasco he heads back to his hover car and tires to call Bryant. He can only get in touch with Bryant’s Secretary who tells him that Bryant went to the Chief to recommend him for a citation for retiring six androids. She also tells him that he is not looking all that well and that he kind of looks like Mercer. Rick says I’m Wilbur Mercer; I have permanently fused with him and i can’t unfuse with him. I can’t tell if he actually fused with Mercer in some weird way or if just finally cracked. After the call he notices something outside the car that gets his hopes up.

In the last chapter Rick finds a toad which are supposed to be extinct. He takes it and gets int the car to bring it home. When he gets home he shows Iran and as she plays around with it finds a control panel and it turns out that it was electrical. Rick shows signs of disappointment, but after everything he had been through says ” The electrical things have lives too”. This shows that after everything he learned how to accept even androids as people too, changing his outlook on life. However Iran convinces him to go to sleep and use the mod organ to help him feel better. I hate how everything he had finally felt real feelings and he just went back to the mood organ and the fake feelings. The story ends with Iran calling a repair shop for the the frog to be repaired for Rick and she the drinks her coffee. I won’t lie I’m not a real fan of the ending, i feel like it was very anti-climatic and it that it just ended in reverse to how it started with Rick feeling depressed now and Iran feeling happy. I thought it was gonna end where Rick and everyone else where the androids and that the Nexus six were actually the humans. However that did not happen hopefully Blade Runner has a good visual of this and maybe a better ending.

So can we just pretend the book ended the way Bladerunner did?

What can I say about these last couple of chapters? I don’t even want to talk about it, I just want to pretend I didn’t read any of it. Let me just say, I LOVE THIS BOOK! I enjoyed the imagery, symbolism, characters, just everything. But boy did the the tone drastically change by the end.

Throughout the book Dick intentionally described people in synthetic ways, as well as described the androids in very human ways. Dick made us question who was truly warm-blooded and who was the cold emotionless machine. So why, by the end, did all the androids just lose all the personality they had built up. Roy’s death in Bladerunner was so good; it was human. But in the book it’s just so sudden and anti-climatic. When Roy screamed at Imgards death it had no impact; it wasn’t descriptive at all, unlike Lufts death (I’m not going to put up any pg numbers as I did not take any notes due to to the fact that I was dumb-founded by those last chapters). The conclusion to the book just destroys the significance of the great scenes between Deckard and Rachael, as well as Deckard and Luft. By the end you do not question who is truly human; Deckard is the human and did the right thing. All empathy for the androids is just stolen from the reader.

And Mercer appearing to rick seriously? Rick being compared to a messiah-like figure? What do you guys think the point of this was? I honestly just can not think of anything right now. As a lover of stories that question what it means to be a human and have the book end this way, is just heart-breaking. AHHHHH I mean c’mon the news that Mercer was a fraud was just great. It was basically a religion, a religion that was focused on empathy, the defining human element of the book. To have that religion debunked results in having the definition of being a human in the book debunked. Just to have it ended with a clear border created between humans and andys. I can see the ending being used to define why andys could never truly be human, as they were unable to have faith, with faith being a major part of being religious.

And to have the book end with Iran discovering that the toad that Deckard had found was an android, despite deckard being unable to tell, just warps everything all over again. Make up your mind dick do you want the reader to question what it means to be human/alive? Or do you just want to express that humanity is defined by religion. I mean religion played a very minimal role throughout the story; therefore, it makes no sense to have a religiously focused ending. And why the toad of all things to be closely attached to mercerism? The sheep was mentioned throughout the book, and it is one of the animals that has religious connections. After all, Mercer was described in a very christ-like way. I’m just so upset right now. In my head, I’m just going to replace the ending of this book with the ending from bladerunner.

Is it “really” over?

What an ending!

In these chapters, we really see the line between what is real, and what isn’t, really start to blur. Ricks interactions with the Andy’s leads to what could possibly be a psychotic episode, and eventually becoming unable to notice what is real and what isn’t. We also seeĀ  some very human actions from the Andy’s.

A very interesting interaction i found was after Rick finished with the Andy’s. He comes home to find his new goat has been killed by Rachael. After Rick finishes talking with Rachael after their night together, she says to him [1] that he he loves his goat more than his wife. To see a cold machine that normally doesn’t show these kind of emotions do something like this is very human. While this probably was done as payback for failing at her job to convert Rick, this is an action that would normally be seen in a jilted lover. Either way, it isn’t very robot-like.

While waiting for Deckard to come find them, we see how the Andy’s treat animals. In chapter 18, we see John find a spider and the mutilation of it by the remaining Andy trio.Ā  When John is confronted by Deckard, Rick tells him that “Androids do that.”[2] One of the major themes of this book is empathy. There are many arguments about how the androids show more empathy than humans, but in chapter 19, we really see how unlike us they really are. They are capable of blending in pretty well, but given the chance, you can see how vicious they can be.

Something else that i found interesting, and i had to go back and check it, is that we finally get a description of Ricks appearance. [3] When Isodore sees him in the irregular light, he describes him as a “medium man, not impressive; like a clerk in a bureaucratic office.” In the opening scene of the book, Iran refers to to rick as a murderer and to “get his crude cops hands away.”[4] Throughout reading the book, you can’t help of thinking of Rick as kind of a tough guy, like your typical action movie star. Instead he just sounds like a normal guy. It also shows how Rick isn’t your typical hero. He has emotional problems just like most people, something that oftentimes, authors choose to ignore when writing their protagonists.

Once Rick has retired all of the Andy’s, he heads home. He sees that his goat has been killed, and Rick gets in his vehicle andĀ  just drives. He ends up in the desert and there is a scene in which he begins to emulate Mercer. I had some problems understanding this scene as like many other novels by Phillip K. Dick, there is generally some altering of reality and the characters perception of reality. He comes back to reality and goes back to his car and opens a new tin of snuff. [5] When i read that word, i generally think of some sort of drug, and i wonder if maybe the reason he needed a new tin was due to him using it too often? Could this have been part of what lead to this episode? When he discovers the toad in the desert, it is sort of a reset for Rick. Throughout the book, we watch as he became more empathetic towards the “electric” and now we see him fall back into his old ways, thinking about the fame he would receive from the find. When he discovers that the toad is not real, i think he realizes that what he perceives as real and what isn’t, has vastly changed.

The book ends onĀ  an interesting note. The book opens with Iran, and it ends with her. Of all the characters, she probably shows the greatest change. As Rick sleeps, she sets in motion the plan to make the toad Ricks pet, ordering food and finding out what is needed for it to function properly. At this point it seems that they’ve switched roles since the opening scene, with Rick being a bit depressed, and her doing whatever she can do to make sure he recovers. It seems that all she needed to get out of her depression was some sort of purpose in life, and helping Rick to recover seems to be that purpose.


[1]Chapter 17, Pg. 202, 1st paragraph

[2]Chapter 19, Pg. 218, paragraph 6

[3]Chapter 19, Pg. 218, paragraph 7

[4]Chapter 1, Pg. 3, last paragraph

[5]Chapter 21, Pg 213, last paragraph

Well That Was Sneaky

After finally finishing the book, there are so many different conclusions, points or questions that cross my mind. One point that I will definitely make is thatĀ the people in this story are very sneaky. There are a few reasons on to why I think that. On chapter 16, Rachael tells Rick why she is there with him. She says on pg. 188, “I know Nexus-6 psychology. That’s why I’m here that’s why I can help you.” Ā But then she begins to tease him. Laughing, saying that she’s drunk and can’t go with him. She then admits that she doesn’t care whether or not he dies, she only cares if she does. While Rick just wants to kill the 3 more andy’s, Rachael decided to make him sleep with her so he can fall in love with her and therefore probably feel empathy for androids. He falls for it. He actually does end up loving Rachel because ion page 223 he says to Roy Baty “And I loved Rachael.” She’s a sneaky son of a gun. Heck, she even ends up killing his goat in chapter 20!

Another point that I spotted out is that Buster Friendly was actually lying to the viewers the entire time. He makes a big announcement and tells the world that he is actually an android controlled by the sneaker Rosen Association. Buster has been making a different world for humans for years and no one even knew it. On page 209 is states that Buster Friendly says, “Yes, folks, swindle. Mercerism is a swindle!” That whole Buster Friendly thing was just a Ā puppet of the Rosen Association and a tool to trick everyone!

AnotherĀ thing that I find really interesting how everyone goes to an empathy box so that they can survive. It’s so weird how when they fuse with Mercer that they begin to climb up a mountain. Pretty random and makes me question on to why a mountain? Why a box? It was different for Rick in chapter 21 when he tried doing it because he was doing it alone. Wonder why it was such a struggle for him when he tried doing it alone this time? Also why does he feel as if he will be immortal if he became Mercer?