Close reading of DADES passage 509 words

He thought, too, about his need for a real animal; within him an actual hatred manifested itself toward his electric sheep, which he had to tend, had to care about, as if it lived. The tyranny of an object, he thought. It doesn’t know I exist. Like the androids, it had no ability to appreciate the existence of another. He had never thought of this before, the similarity between an electric animal and an andy. The electric animal, he pondered, could be considered a subform of the other, a kind of vastly inferior robot. Or, conversely, the android could be regarded as a highly developed, evolved version of the ersatz animal. Both viewpoints repelled him. (42)

The passage begins with Rick Deckard’s feeling that he needs a real animal to show that he is human and as a result can show empathy towards another being. The religion of Mercerism in the novel, which is practiced by virtually all the human characters, emphasizes showing compassion for animals. However, since animals have become extremely rare after world war terminus they are incredibly expensive and many people cannot afford a real animal, so they resort to buying a cheaper electric version of these animals to fool their neighbors. Though these animals are sacred in practice most humans merely treat them as status symbols and simply care how valuable their animal is and what their neighbor’s think of it. Deckard’s hates his electric sheep, because he feels he is forced to take care of it as if it was a real sheep and unlike a real sheep it offers nothing in return. He even describes the electric sheep as having tyranny which is personification, because we usually only associate tyranny with humans. The sheep doesn’t know he exists; the ability to reason is the humanist idea of what it means to be human. He compares the androids and the electric animals as mere variations of one another. However, using this line of reasoning one could argue that humans and animals are merely a variation of each other. This is why Deckard appears to be appalled by both of his possible viewpoints. This is definitely an example of the conflict between the humanist self and the novels version of what it means to be human. Animals can show empathy, but they cannot reason thus humans separate themselves from animals by defining the ability to reason as making one human. However, the androids can also reason quite well, but cannot show empathy in most cases forcing humans to change the definition of what is human to showing empathy. You also have the specials which are considered less than human even though they are just as capable of showing compassion as “normal” humans. Thus, this double standard of what it means to be human is created by the government to serve their own purposes. If the enslavement of an entire species or ethnicity furthers their political agenda then they will find a way to justify it.

Blade Runner

I thought the Blade runner film was interesting, but there were a lot of things that were in the book that were left out of the movie. For example the religion Mercerism was left out of the movie entirely and this sort of leaves out the element of the importance of animals. Also there is no mention of specials or JR Isidore. Also Dekcard’s wife Iran is not mentioned at all in the movie. It also adds the character JF Sebastian, and all his weird creations. Phil Resch is also left out of the movie and it is Rachel that saves him from the android instead of Phil. Also he is forced back into his bounty hunter job which never happened in the book.


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