Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prompt 2- Androids as Metaphor

Androids as Metaphor

A metaphor is a word for something that means another thing. It is easy to recognize from reading just half of Do androids dream of electric sheep that this whole book relates to a lot of historical events in the past. World War Terminus is simply a metaphor for the Vietnam War, and the androids are a metaphor for the seemingly empathy-less soldiers that fought in Vietnam.  Androids in this book are made out to be emotionless, unable to feel. They are smart yet they have no control over themselves. They are whatever whoever made them programmed them to be.
This is a metaphor to how many people who were against the Vietnam war saw the soldiers that were fighting down there. The controversies and horrible events that occurred down there, made many to believe that the soldiers had to be brainwashed or in another mind state. Programmed for war to commit such horrible crimes. I also believe that another note worthy metaphor to link up is the metaphor between the Rosen Association and the government/politicians who supported the war during the time of the Vietnam War. The lawmakers personify the programmers of the androids (soldier) that were in Vietnam fighting the war. And the empathy-less actions of the soldiers can be linked back to how they have no control over their actions. Phillip Dick the androids describes them as killers in his book : “Evidently the humanoid robot constituted a solitary predator”. After researching Phillip Dick, and his background, the influence of the anti-Vietnam war protest at his college evidently had a huge influence on him. The androids signify the soldiers and all those who support the Vietnam War. The motive to rid the world of all androids is his indirect way of showing that he doesn’t support the war or anyone who supports it.
 Phillip Dick’s lack of support for the Vietnam War is very evident in his book, in fact it is possible to state that he used this book as an outlet to get out his opinions on the war. Although he does this indirectly, it is still very clear after reaching the happenings in the world around the time that the book was written. Anyone in-touch with what anti-Vietnam protesters believed in can clearly see that he is using his book as a way to argue for the unjustness of the war.
It can be seen that he put himself in place of Rick, bounty hunter for all androids, and his motive was to rid the world of all soldiers, or pro-Vietnam war supporters.  He wanted to rid the world of androids because they lacked empathy like human beings had. Although they were made to look like human beings, they lacked the essential part of being a human being, which is having emotions, and being able to feel pain, and empathy towards other humans. “Empathy evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnid’s” he states that empathy defines what a human is, and the gift of empathy blurred the boundaries between being a hunter and a victim. One could take the hunter to be the American soldiers and the victims to be the Vietnams.

Phillip Dick’s expert use of metaphor in this book makes everything seem like it has a double meaning. It leaves his readers reevaluating everything. I do believe that there may be other meanings for the androids that I haven’t discovered. But the biggest one that I found that ties into the historic context of when the book was written is the how androids personify the soldiers and their builders/programmers personify the American government.

2 comments:

Brianna R. Pinckney said...

I liked that you researched the time period of when Dick wrote the novel. I agree with you in that that time period was influential in the plot line. I also liked your comparison of the soldiers as androids and the Viatnemese represent the programmers who control the androids. However, some of your other points were scattered and it was hard to connect all your thoughts together.

Adam said...

Good introduction, and a reasonable approach. I'll need some convincing, though, to see WWT as strictly a metaphor for Vietnam (where, after all, not many *Americans* died, although from a Vietnamese viewpoint it might be a little closer to WWT!)

The second paragraph, though, is vague and unsupported. I think you are kind of right, at least in part, but you're not doing a good job demonstrating it - you need real research here, and/or detailed use of the text (for instance, see the part of the novel which discusses the original purpose of the androids)

As you go on, you get vaguer and vaguer. There are many things in the text that we *could* take as related to Vietnam - but why should we? You aren't doing the hard work of showing what in the text should be taken as representing Vietnam, and why it matters, nor how we should then understand either the novel or the Vietnam war better. This is simply a very vague essays, which isn't really making an argument - instead, you're speculating about a possible reading, instead of *defending* a particular reading in detail.