Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick, in his novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? helps us understand the importance and power of empathy, as well as defining, or rather, un-defining what it means to be human.

The book follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is hired to "retire" six androids who have assumed human identities. Through events--including being unable to distinguish an android from a human in empathy tests, and vis versa. And also sleeping with an android who seems to be completely human and although he knows she is an android he chooses still to sleep with her, among other things--Deckard becomes confused about humanity, morality and empathy.

The interesting view of life and the breaking of the lines that define what humanity is are, for me, the key points in the novel. I found it interesting that those who are human and clam to have empathy are the ones taking a "drug" (for lack of a better word), or injection to determine the mood they wish to be in are what we consider humane, where as the androids, who have personalities, and are able to feel empathy are considered non-empathetic.

So who is truly humane? And how does the futuristic technology change the boundaries of humanity and empathy. These types of issues are addressed in such a moving way it will leave the reader wanting to read it over again upon finishing the novel.

Download the audio book and/or PDF of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep!!


Matt said...

Very interesting, love the concept. I will have to check this one out.

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