Thursday, April 10, 2014

Electric Toad

Towards the end of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the main character has finally killed all his assigned androids and finds himself out in the middle of nowhere; a place that barely anything lives because of the conditions. To Rick the toad appears to be real, but when he takes it home to show his wife with excitement they find out that the toad is electronic. There are a few things going on with this. First, Rick is still holding on to some hope that the Earth that once existed (with all it's animals, plants and people) is still obtainable. I think that is some of the reason he wanted to find an actual animal in the wilderness. He wants to posses something that you can no longer find easily and that has a lot more value both financially and for himself. Finding the toad on the mountain makes it even more meaningful rather than buying it for some ridiculous amount of money.Its an experience that barely happens in Rick's world and holds a lot of meaning if it happens.
Second, the toad is decently made to the point where you can't tell that it is fake, most of the animals are described like this. This brings up the question of how far has this gone? How can you tell whats real and whats not? The toad acts as a reminder that sometimes Rick really doesn't know. No matter what test you use or what strategies you know to identify the fake from the real there's still the chance that you will be wrong and unable to tell the difference or maybe in Rick's case he wouldn't want to know even though he claims that its better that he finds this information out.

I also played with the idea that the toad is related to Rachel in a way.I think that Rick wants so much for this toad to be real and that these feelings of having something authentic transfer to his relationship with Rachel. Like the toad, Rick wants Rachel to be real and for them to perhaps have some kind of relationship, but given that she is an android this is not possible. Both Rachel and the toad fooled Rick into thinking they were real and this may be why he wants them even more. His job is to identify if people are human or androids, he definitely has experience in this area, but why were Rachel and the toad able to slip past him in their first encounters?

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