From also being in Professor Lowery’s Sci-Fi and Future course, the connection this week really stuck with me through Blade Runner. We read Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and the story takes place in a desolate location on Earth after World War Terminus. It’s a dark dangerous place that has toxic dust falling from the sky hurting people in specific locations. Like the photo shown, the Earth is a dark, dirty, and crowded place. After the war, people fled Earth and moved to different colonized planets to live, and when one moved there, they got an android slave. Androids were not welcome on Earth. If they ventured there, the Blade Runners would have to retire, or kill them. The newest model of android, the Nexus 6, looked exactly like humans but lacked empathy toward other humans. (The novel has a strong basis on empathy). So the novel lays out the question of what does it mean to be human? Can an android be human? But connecting all of this to our class, I think that the Earth in this novel and film is definitely a dystopia. There is so much conflict between characters and their way of life. Especially in the novel, the characters struggle to be truly happy. Even the androids are looking for a way of escape their own situation, even if it means to run to a place where they are not wanted. The ending scene we watched in class where Roy lifts up Deckard, he finally almost seems at peace when his body shuts down and dies. That maybe he finally entered a Utopia where he was happy and welcome when he died.
Philip K. Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.)
Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott. Prod. Ridley Scott and Hampton Francher. By Hampton Francher and David Webb Peoples. Perf. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. Warner Bros., 1982.