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dicks androids and scotts replicants essay

dicks androids and scotts replicants essay

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Dicks' Androids and Scotts' Replicants

Michael Tschappat
Patricia Stull
English 102
11/25/96

Philip K. Dick has written over fifty novels, and is considered
among some
of the greatest experimental writers of the 1950s and '60s, such as;
William
Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and Thomas Pynchon.(Star 34) He has written
science-
fiction and regular fiction. His fiction usually spoke of people
trying to
figure out who they are, or what they are supposed to be. He is best
known,
however, for his work in science-fiction, and this represents the
majority of
his work. He has, also, won awards for two of his science-fiction

novels. He

won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High
Castle and the
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for
Flow My
Tears, The Policeman Said (Brians 1).

An opera has been based on one
of P.K.D.
later novels, Valis (Brians 1). One of his short stories, We Can Build
It For
You, was made into a movie recently. The movie was Screamers, starring
Peter
Weller. He has also had two of his novels, We Can Remember It for You
Wholesale (Total Recall), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade
Runner),
made into movies. Of the two, Blade Runner (B.R.) has had the greatest
impact.
B.R., however, differs greatly from Dicks' original novel, Do Androids
Dream of
Electric Sheep? (D.A.D.O.E.S.)

Blade Runner was released in 1982 under the direction of Ridley
Scott,
who also made another sci-fi classic, Alien.

The film begins in the city of Los Angeles. The year is 2019.
The city of
Los Angeles is overpopulated, teeming with all sorts of humans.
Japanese ADs
are all over the place.

The Japanese input was strictly the
director, Ridley
Scot's. Scott saw the future world being controlled by the Japanese.
Philip K.
Dick did not mention this. The planet is recovering from World War III,
although I'm not sure they actually say this. In the book, the war is
clearly
stated and was called World War Terminus. The effects of the radiation
has

mutated some people. Only the ones who had not been disfigured or
altered
genetically by radiation from the nuclear bombs could emigrate, (leave
the
planet earth). Some, who were perfectly healthy chose to stay,
however.

They
stayed because they were stubborn and wanted to die on the planet they
were born
on. The chickenheads had to stay, it was law.

Chickenheads is Dicks
term for
the disfigured or the genetically altered. They are also referred to as
specials. There are no chickenheads in the movie. None of this is
made clear
in the movie, but this is what is explained in the novel.

The ones who do emigrate to other planets receive one free worker
to help
them with their settling of a new home. The worker is not human. It
is an
android. In the movie they are called replicants or skin-jobs. These
are the
newest versions of androids, which were created by the Rosen

Association. They
are Nexus-6.

Nexus-6 mimic humans in every way, except in one thing,
they have
no empathy.

Empathy is the ability to feel for another. For example, if you
cared for
a puppy that was beaten, skinned, and then left to die, that care would
be
empathy. Androids don't have this trait. They would watch the
puppies' skin be
removed without a blink in their eyes. They can pretend to feel, but
they'd
have to know first there was something disturbing about the skinning of
a puppy.
The nonexistent empathy of replicants is never discussed in the movie,
but it
is pretty obvious in the way they kill or try to kill. This lack of
empathy
scared many humans on earth, so a law was passed that didn't allow
androids on
the planet.

In the novel, this is where the bounty hunters come in. Their job
is to
retire (kill) the androids, who have somehow escaped to earth or just
were never
weeded out from the other humans.

You might be wondering why I said bounty hunter instead of blade
runner?
Well, the term blade runner is never used in the novel. Apparently,
Ridley
Scott wanted a specific name for the people who hunted down the

androids. He
didn't want to just call them bounty hunters.

Scott was told of a
William
Burroughs book named Blade Runner: The Movie. The book was never a
movie.

Burroughs just had that in the title. Scott liked the way blade runner
sounded,
so he bought the rights of the Burroughs novel (Blackwood). That is
how he came
up with the title and a name for the hunters of the replicants.

The way a blade runner can know if an android is a human or not
is through
the Voight-Kampff test. This is shown in the movie, although not used
as much
as in the novel. The test consists of the tester setting up several
scenarios
and seeing the testes's responses. The responses are measured through
dilation
in the eyes and the blushing of cheeks. The blushing is recorded by a
device
that is placed on your face and the dilation of the eye; by a laser
that shines
in your eye. An example of something that Deckard or whoever was
administering
the test would say was: "You are watching an old movie on TV, a movie
from
before the war. It shows a banquet in progress; the guests are
enjoying raw
oysters."

"Ugh," Rachel said; the needles swung swiftly.

"The entree," he continued, "consists of boiled dog, stuffed
with rice."
The needles moved less this time, less than they had for the raw

oysters. "Are

raw oysters more acceptable to you than a dish of boiled dog? Evidently
not."(Dick 45) A human would react more to the dog than raw oysters.
This
showed that this particular subject, Rachael Rosen, was an android. It
wouldn't
just be one question though, it would be many. All would be something
along
these lines, though. After, he found out for sure; the android, ( or
in the
movie: replicant), would be retired. The Voight-kampff test is only
shown at
the beginning of the movie when Dave Holden is administering the test
to Polokov,
a replicant.

The main character of the novel and movie is Rick Deckard .
Deckard is
played by Harrison Ford. He is a blade runner (bounty hunter) that has
come out
of retirement. Rick is hired to track down four androids: Roy Baty,
Pris,
Luba, and Polokov. The original number of replicants had been five,
but one of
his colleagues, Dave Holden, had already retired one. The name of the
retired
replicant is never mentioned.

The original five had killed their
human masters
on another planet, stolen a ship, and illegally come to earth. In
D.A.D.O.E.S.,

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