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Happiness in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

  • Date Submitted: 05/01/2010 06:45 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.1 
  • Words: 1719
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An unnatural self is someone who is forced out of their element and attempts to find the natural and normal in the unnatural the surrounds them. Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep is about those left on Earth after a devastating world war that has prompted most people to emigrate and live on other planets. It is about these people attempting to cope with what has now become their world, a subpar version of what they recall earth once being. The characters living in Philip K. Dick’s futuristic, alternate world all use technology as a means to achieve what they really want out of life, which is happiness achieved by companionship; but, the characters are all heavily reliant on their technological dependency, which, in turn, creates gaps in their lives.
The Penfield mood organ is just one example of the technological advances that have actually crippled those who use it. It is implied that the initial point of the mood organ was to help people schedule their emotions and, thereby, help their emotions have only positive effects on their day.   However, what the mood organ is, essentially, is a box that gives of a “surge of electricity” (3) that “overcomes the threshold barring consciousness” (3) and forces the person involved to suffer from a disconnect between what they are “[hearing]… intellectually” (5) and what they are feeling. Iran, Rick Deckard’s wife, points out this disassociation and says that she “[realizes] how unhealthy it [is]” (5). She likens not feeling what you are hearing intellectually, for example the emptiness of an apartment building, to mental illness; saying that “sensing the absence of life…and not reacting…used to be considered a sign of mental illness” (5). She says that the disconnect between intellectually sensing an emotion and actually feeling it shows an
“absence of appropriate affect” (5).   Iran, after her realization that using the mood organ is “the most alien drive [she] can imagine” (7), decides to...


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