Light Through Cracks
On a contiguous level, Dick uses the incompletely transformed darkness to light motif to call attention to Deckard’s black and white model that embraces the real and rejects the synthetic; Dick does so in order to illustrate the model’s true complexities that blur the distinctions between the real and unreal and the need to couple binaries in a balance. Ready to retire android Luba Luft, Deckard listens to her opera song and is entranced by the “pleasure…the quality of her voice” (Dick 99). Compared to Iran’s depression and Phil’s coldness, Luba’s mesmerizing voice introduces a “pleasure,” a passionate breath of fresh air into Deckard’s otherwise dissonant world. The beauty “of her voice” symbolically sheds light into darkness, through which Dick introduces the darkness to light motif. When Luba is killed, Deckard feels empathetic towards her, questioning “the distinction between authentic living humans and humanoid constructs” (142). Initially viewing androids, the synthetic, distinctly separate from and inferior to humans, the real, Deckard begins to undergo a deconstruction and blurring of his previous black and white model. Through his questioning of “the distinction,” Dick underlines the complexities and ambiguities of the boundaries between androids and humans.
Luft’s voice has thus poured light into the cracks of Deckard’s isolated model and onto the possibility of a balanced android-human perception. Yet, like Isidore, Deckard does not fully ascend to the light. He uses his bounty money to buy an authentic black female goat, a representation of the Devil and the darkness. As Vint suggests, the purchase of a real animal is a reduction of androids to an exchange value, a commodity (Vint 2). The one-sided embrace of the goat, the real and the devil, is Deckard’s return to the darkness and his old narrow mindset that rejects the synthetic. Paralleling the incompletely transitioned darkness to light motif to Deckard’s reversion, Dick thus elucidates the unhealthiness of a one-sided model and suggests, instead, a reconciliation between binaries.
Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York: Random House Group, 1968. Print.
Galvan, Jill. Entering the Posthuman Collective in Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Nov., 1997), pp. 413-429. Print.
Vint, Sherryl. Speciesism and Species Being in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 40, No.1 (Mar., 2007). Print.
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