Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Topics: Blade Runner, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick Pages: 4 (1451 words) Published: March 29, 2011
Is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick first published in 1968. The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids, while the secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-normal intelligence who befriends some of the androids. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic near future, where the Earth and its populations have been damaged greatly by Nuclear War during World War Terminus. Most types of animals are endangered or extinct due to extreme radiation poisoning from the war. To own an animal is a sign of status, but what is emphasized more is the empathic emotions humans experience towards an animal. Deckard is faced with "retiring" six escaped Nexus-6 model androids, the latest and most advanced model. Because of this task, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids possess no empathic sense. In essence, Deckard probes the existence of defining qualities that separate humans from androids. The book's plot served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner.


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? takes place in 1992 (2021 in later editions), years after the radioactive fallout of World War Terminus destroyed most of Earth. The U.N. encourages emigration to off-world colonies, in hope of preserving the human race from the terminal effects of the fallout. One emigration incentive is giving each emigrant an "andy" — a servant android. The remaining populace live in cluttered, decaying cities wherein radiation poisoning sickens them and damages their genes. Animals are rare and people are expected to keep them and help preserve them. But many people turn towards the much cheaper synthetic, or electric, animals to keep up the pretense. Rick Deckard owned a sheep, but it died of tetanus, and he replaced it with a synthetic sheep. The main Earth religion is Mercerism, in which Empathy Boxes link simultaneous users into a collective consciousness based on the suffering of...
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