(from a Dystopian literature: a theory and research guide)
pg 338. Blade Runner is based on Philip L. Dick’s novel do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Numerous critics have cited its striking visual presentation of a dystopian future America as a central example of postmodernist use of space and perspective.
pg 338. Visual presentation, involving striking chase scenes through dark teeming streets and ruined deserted buildings that make clear the social decay that accompanies the technological advancements of this future society.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic near future, where Earth and its populations have been damaged greatly by nuclear war during World War Terminus. Most types of animals are endangered or extinct due to extreme radiation poisoning from the war. To own an animal is a sign of status, but what is emphasized more is the empathic emotions humans experience towards an animal.
The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is faced with “retiring” six escaped Nexus-6 brain model androids, the latest and most advanced model, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-normal intelligence who aids the fugitive androids. In connection with Deckard’s mission, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids possess no empathic sense. In essence, Deckard probes the existence of defining qualities that separate humans from androids.” wiki
pg 120 – In the novel interplanetary spaceflight is a practical reality, and humanity is actively colonizing the solar system, while back on earth individuals travel about in flying vehicles that allow them to cover hundreds of miles in mere minutes,
[…] having been ravaged by a nuclear war and the ensuing environmental contamination, virtually destroying all animal life and making the human flight to space colonies a question more of survival than of adventure[…] the ssky is perpetually darkened by radioactive dust[…] entropy.
Refer this to the cold war.
N.Q – Dick’s talks about the meaning of “human” and that how the more technologically advance society gets the more technological the machines get that they are virtually indistinguishable between human and machine. Can only be differentiated by subtle psychological tests to feel empathy for living creatures.
pg 120 – Humans have a high level of empathy, all life is considered precious: even insects are considered extremely valuable.
pg 121 – “Mercersim” – a sort of high-tech re inscription of Christianity in which believers can commune with all other living things – through interfacing with an “empathy box.” an electronic device that allows individuals to participate in a global network of empathy.
pg 121 – Deckard Undergoes a number of experiences that lead him to reexamine many of the received ideas of his society. when he meets Phils Resch, a fellow bounty hunter who genuinely relishes the killing of androids, Deckard begins to sympathize with the plight of the androids. He also begins to wonder whether he himself is not becoming a mere killing machine, dehumanized by his work, And when Deckard becomes sexually involved with the female android Rachael Rosen, he develops a genuine emotional attachment to her, thus further undermining his former ability to regard androids as nothing more than machines
pg 122 – J.R Isidore. Suffered mental damage due to radioactive contamination. Classified as a “special” not regarded now as a true human. Suffers from schizophrenia including “flattening of affect” – incapable of feeling genuine emotion.
N.Q Dick plays on the fact of the two races being very similar that it is hard to know which one is “real” and what one is not – he likes to play with the doubles and opposites
pg 122 – Friendly (the society’s favorite comedian and best-loved on-air personality) turns out to be a an android. And mercer, the society’s ultimate representative of authentic human experience, turns out to be a fraud.
pg 123 – [..] dualistic (of or relating to the philosophical doctrine of dualism; “a Manichaean conflict between good and evil”.) sense of the world in which human beings perceive themselves as being fundamental distinct and different from their environment, thereby estranging them from the world.
- How Ridley Scott Turned Footage From the Beginning of The Shining Into the End of Blade Runner (openculture.com)
- Phillip K. Dick Fans Should Enjoy Production of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (laist.com)