INS Part I — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Something that impressed me in the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, and specifically this scene was Rick Deckard’s quick thinking and intuition. This scene also revealed that Deckard was quite jealous and vindictive. He is envious of the Rosen Association’s “special relationship with Sidney’s”, which allowed them to get the animal price catalogue a good two days early, so he confiscates it. He wants their money and power, and most importantly their owl, which is a species that was believed to be extinct. Rick Deckard fears that the current test for detecting androids that he has is not accurate. He is led to believe that the person he is testing isn’t an android, although the test says she is. The conflict he is facing is between government and corporations. He represents the government. They want to maintain order by bringing in escaped androids. The corporation wants to do “a good job […] at protecting their products”, meaning that they want to prevent the government from being able to detect the differences between humans and androids.

Rick Deckard isn’t a realistic character, because some parts of his personality have been blown to cartoonish levels of proportion; this includes his ego. A direct result of this is he is overly jealous and vindictive. Also, Mr. Deckard’s actions reflect past attitudes that people have held about women, namely that they are inferior, and I disagree with those views. In the beginning of the book, Rick Deckard programs Iran’s mood organ to ‘pleased acknowledgement of husband’s superior wisdom in all matters”. This idea that her husband is inherently wiser is not one that is true. I think that this reflected the author’s beliefs, but I think that women should’ve play a more active role in this book.

One motivation for Rick Deckard is jealousy, and this is reflected in all people. We tend to covet other’s belongings, which has only been exasperated with the rise of consumerism. Rick Deckard is jealous of his neighbors, who have “real” animals as opposed to electric ones. I think that I’m more jealous of others’ traits, like their intellect or their athleticism. Both our wants drive us and can sometimes dictate how we act. I think that overall, I would have handled the conflicts in a very similar matter, with a few changes in how I treat others. I wouldn’t have told my neighbor about my electric sheep, and I wouldn’t have taken the new Sidney’s catalogue. I think the differences in our actions would be because I am less confrontational than Deckard.

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