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Philip K Dick Comparison

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A Comparison of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And The Man in the High Castle March 25, 2007 Outline I. Title: The recurring questions of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Man in the High Castle II. Controlling Purpose: The Purpose of this paper is to compare the main thematic elements of the two books, including the common question they pose, "What is real"? III. Biographical Background on Philip K Dick A) Rough childhood dealing with guilt B) Health problems/Psychological problems and experimentation with drugs IV. The Question "What is real"? A) Penetration of false reality into true reality in The Man in the High Castle B) Blurring of realities in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? C) Similarities between characters V. Thematic Elements A) Justice and injustice/moral issues B) Identity C) Religion/philosophy D) Illusions E) Counterfeiting The Recurring Questions of Philip K. Dick Philip K. Dick, a prominent science fiction author of the 20th century, was only trying to make ends meet through his accomplished writing skills. However, he did much more than simply entertain; he incorporated complex philosophical and moral issues into his often seemingly ludicrous stories. ...read more.


Baynes. Mr. Baynes wonders, "Perhaps if you know that you are insane, then you are not insane. You are becoming sane, finally. Waking up...But...what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it?" (Dick 41) However, in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dick uses the entire storyline to ask his question. The world described in this novel is a future Earth on which few people and few animals live after a worldwide war has left it uninhabitable. What few people are left keep animals as a symbol of social status. However, animals are extremely expensive and rare. Fake animals have been created, as well as human-like machines called Androids. The protagonist spends the entire story trying to find the imposters that are the Androids, who are dangerous to society due to their lack of compassion and empathy. This ties into the common Dickian idea of questioning reality when the main character, John Deckard begins to wonder if he, himself is an android as well. Another common Dickian theme is the theme of injustice and moral issues. ...read more.


Philip K. Dick, though a brilliant and somewhat prolific science fiction writer, spent most of his time dealing with poverty in addition to his mental difficulties. Dick was often just trying to finish his latest story to pay the bills. Philip K Dick was an ingenious yet arguably tortured writer of science fiction. Throughout his life he struggled with guilt over his twin sister, relationship problems and drug addictions. He took refuge in his writing of far-out stories, and conveyed his feelings and troubles in his novels and essays (Umland 96). In his two novels The Man in the High Castle and Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? he includes ideas that he had been struggling with, including illusions, philosophy and counterfeiting and most importantly the question of reality. Dick himself says in one of his essays that it's is the true science fiction writer's ability to incorporate philosophical beliefs in stories while taking the absolute quality out of everything.(Dick). Dick, "cuts us loose enough to put us in a third space (where it is) neither concrete nor abstract" (Behrens). This ability of his and his ultimate question of reality is quite possibly what makes Dick such an outstanding science fiction writer. ...read more.

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