Comparing Blade Runner And Do Androids

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Themes of uncertainty and paranoia are present in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner because of both texts’ transmutation of abstract empathy into concrete objects, which paradoxically defines and obscures the dividing line between them. In Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, empathy is established as the basis for humanity through the use of the Voigt-Kampff test and the empathy box. The Voigt-Kampff machine is the standard for distinguishing humans from androids. The test is usually administered by a bounty hunter like the main protagonist, Rick Deckard, and it involves asking a series of hypothetical social scenarios revolving around animals getting harmed or killed.…show more content…
Rachael Rosen demonstrates that the androids capable of emotions in killing Rick Deckard’s goat. An interpretation of Rachael’s action can either be a lover’s jealous rage as a result of Rick choosing Iran over her, or a bitter revenge on Rick’s successful extermination of her fellow Nexus 6 androids. Either way, both of these interpretations are a product of an emotion felt by Rachael, and contradicts the general belief of androids lacking the ability to feel in the book. Rachael has the ability to emote feelings towards Rick, which is a direct contrast to Rick’s wife, Iran, who is not capable of feeling empathy towards him. Iran suffers from depression, which Rick is unable to understand, therefore indifferent towards her husband’s opinions and wants. Iran’s depression prevents her from effectively listening to her husband, which is shown during a conversation on the phone about Rick purchasing an animal. He declares that his wife’s depression has “become too vast for her even to hear him,” he continues on saying that, “…she doesn’t care whether we own an ostrich or not; nothing penetrates,” (94). In this statement, it is implied that she is without empathy for Rick’s opinions and wants. This shows that Iran lacks…show more content…
Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner establishes empathy as the basis of humanity through the use of the Voigt-Kampff test, but also introduces the human eye as the concrete object in which abstract empathy can be examined upon. The Voigt-Kampff test is present and its purpose is similar to its use in Philip K. Dick’s novel; Rick Deckard uses it to test for empathy within presumed replicants. The Voigt-Kampff test still measures emotional responses, and therefore humanity, by measuring reflex action in the eye. Although, the ocular aspect of the test is expanded upon throughout the film. Ridley Scott introduces how empathy can be examined through the rampant presentation of the human eye in the film. The eye symbolism implies that the eye is “the window of the soul,” but then says that the “soul” can be tested and measured: your soul is no longer the part of your being, it is now a simple scientific fact deduced in a quantitative measure. But what does “soul” exactly mean? The eyes are the “soul” because it is where we insightfully perceive the multitudes of emotions people display, and vice versa- the eyes are where we portray our honest emotions such as happiness and sadness. This can be why Ridley Scott chose to represent empathy as the eyes. Psychologist World, a site that features news about psychology, expresses that humans have practically no control over their pupils, and that basic

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