Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ” is a science fiction novel written by Philip Kindred Dick, and it was published on 1968. Philip Kindred Dick is a famous American writer, who was born on December 16, 1928 and died on March 2, 1982 before completing his last unfinished work “The Owl in Daylight”. Philip K. Dick is best known for his many famous science fiction novels. Throughout his career, he wrote more than 40 novels and more than 120 short stories.
Although “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was written in third person point of view, we can say that it was written in present tense. This novel takes place on a futuristic San Francisco in the year 2021 after World War Terminus destroyed the planet Earth because of its nuclear radioactive remains. The main characters of the novel include Rick Deckard, Iran Deckard, Roy Batty, Irmgard Batty, Pris Stratton, Rachel Rosen, Phil Resch, Buster Friendly, Bill Barbour, Garland, and Harry Bryant. Rick Deckard, which is the protagonist of the novel and a bounty hunter, is also a member of the San Francisco Police Department.
He is willing to own a real animal; he owns only an electric sheep. This is where the conflict begins. In this novel, you were considered a a member of the high class society if you owned a real animal. Rick Deckard is married to Iran Deckard. By reading the novel, we can conclude that she is intelligent and strong, but his husband, Rick Deckard, does not think the same. He thinks he deserves better, therefore, he slept with Rachel Rosen in the chapter 17, We can see this in “Would you ever go to bed with an android again? ” “If it was a girl. If she resembled you. (191), and then we can see that Rick developed feelings for her in, “If you weren’t an android,” Rick interrupted, “if I could legally marry you, I would. ”
Rachael said, “Or we could live in sin, except that I’m not alive. “(191). There are numerous themes that might be considered for “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ” I think that empathy could be considered the main theme for the novel. Every character in the novel finds a way to develop empathy for a certain person or android. For example, the protagonist Rick Deckard. Rick Deckard is a very strict person when his job is evolved.
While the novel continues, he starts developing empathy for androids. We can say that Rick Deckard developed empathy for Luba Luft, an opera singer android. Rick Deckard thoughts and visions toward androids completely changed. We can see this in “They can use androids. Much better if andys do it. I can’t anymore; I’ve had enough. She was a wonderful singer. The planet could have used her. This is insane” (Dick 12. 50). However, Iran develops empathy throughout the novel and ended being helpful to his husband because she knows that the eclectic toad is important to him.
Roy Batty is known as the android leader of the Nexus 6. Roy Batty is pretty intelligent and skilled. He knows how to fight, and he tries to understand his feelings and emotions trough out the novel. He also tries to understand what a human is. In “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “, Irmgard Batty is married to Roy Batty. We can say that although they are androids, Roy Batty and Irmgard Batty are the most “human” couple of in the entire novel. They support and love each other. In fact, this can be considered as a symbol of humanism and life in the novel. Pris Stratton became allies with John Isidore.
She tried to look exactly as Rachel Rosen in chapter 6 in order to distract Rick Deckard from his obligation of killing the group of eight androids. We can see this in “My name is — “She gave him one last warmth less glance as she returned to her apartment, hesitated, and said, “I’m Rachael Rosen. “Of the Rosen Association? ” he asked. “The system’s largest manufacturer of humanoid robots used in our colonization program? ” She does not understand the emotions and feelings she is developing. Rachael Rosen is known as Rick Deckard’s lover, but she is an android. He wants her to help him to destroy Nexus 6.
However, Rachel Rosen used him and slept with him in order to develop empathy and convince him to not destroy the Nexus 6, but she failed. Rick Deckard continued with his mission, instead, Rachel Rosen full of anger, kills the only real animal Deckard owned. Buster Friendly known as an android which gives the news trough radio and television every day and every night. He gives the news that Mercerism is not a true religion. He is selfcentered and selfish. However, we can say that his TV show was created to promote friendship and happiness. Bill Barbour is known as Rick Deckard’s neighbor.
He is member of the high class society because he owns a horse, later on pregnant, of a non-common breed. When he tells Deckard his horse is pregnant, Deckard asked him if he can buy the colt since he only owned an electric sheep, but he refused. Therefore, another theme that could be considered for “Do Androids Dream of Eclectic Sheep? ” might be brain wash. The best example for this theme is Buster Friendly. Due to the fact that he uses to transmit happiness and peace trough his news. In other words, we can say that he could dominate the feelings and emotions the androids were developing.
For example, John Isidore. Officer Garland known as an inspector and member of the android police department. He gets killed by Rick Deckard’s partner Phil Resch. Also, he got Deckard to reveal that the police department was monitoring all activities by humans. However, Phil Resch is also a bounty hunter. He met with Deckard at the police station. Harry Bryant is known as the boss of Rick Deckard at the android police department. Harry Bryant is the one that gave Rick Deckard mission of killing the Nexus 6 android group in chapter four.
Furthermore, real versus unreal can be considered as another theme for “Do Androids Dream of Eclectic Sheep? ” An example could be when Buster Friendly breaks the news that Mercerism is not a real religion. We can see this in “This dichotomy is best expressed through the world of the empathy box and Mercerism. The reader at first experiences Mercerism as something that one can only experience through entering into a state of fusion with Mercer, mediated through the sights and sounds that one experiences while hooked into an empathy box” (Davis 1) We can also find irony in the novel.
As Davis states”… Rick hates his electric sheep precisely because he believes it cannot feel any love for him, even though he cares for it. This feeling allows Rick to perform his work as a bounty hunter because he believes that androids, like his sheep, are incapable of true human emotion and therefore not worthy of life in a society in which life is the highest ideal” (1). Another irony example could be Rick Deckard’s sheep. We can say based on the text that he hated his sheep, due to the fact that it is not real.
In other words, it was an electric sheep. As was previously stated, In “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “, most of the animals we known today were extinct or almost extinct. You were considered a high class man if you owned a real animal. Although he is willing to one day own a real animal, throughout the novel he starts developing feelings, such as love, for his electric fake sheep. As a matter of fact, Rick Deckard developed empathy for all the androids.
We can see this in “Rick slowly loses confidence in the significance and morality of his work, because he begins to realize that the androids themselves are not inherently dangerous, but that the real danger stems from losing our human empathy by guiltlessly enslaving the androids through the moral loophole of antiquated technological hierarchies that privilege the user over the instrument. ” (Sims 72) I also think that animals could be considered a symbol for love. Do to the fact that the novel happens during after times of war, and no one could afford a real animal.
Animals could be considered a symbol of love because everyone wants it but no one could afford it. In my opinion, “Do androids Drean of Electic Sheep” has an informal but educated world style. Philip Kindred Dick chose easy and short words, however, he did not used any inappropriate words trough out the novel. In fact, I think that Dick used numerous characters. Using numerous characters can be sometimes confusing, but Philip Dick uses this characteristic as a way of signing his works. In conclusion, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ” is a science fiction futuristic novel.
I think it is not an easy novel to read, due to difficulty level of the words Philip Kindred Dick chose to use. However, it is an interesting story because of the action, the mystery, and the irony evolved. We can conclude that empathy is when you can put yourself in other’s position, and Rick Deckard developed it toward androids. We can learn a lot from this situation. As human beings, we should have empathy for other and treat others with the respect they deserve. However, I really enjoyed reading because I put myself in his situation.