Comparing Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Comparing Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Length: 1591 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Comparing Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


How do we know that we are human and, if we are human, what does it mean to be human? These two philosophical inquiries are explored in great depth in Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner", and of course the text of Philip K. Dick's wonderful novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on which the film is based. Most would agree that these themes exist in the novel, but a handful of critics and academics have some doubt as to their presence in the film. If one examines both the film and the text, one will realize that they both serve to support the same motifs, but do so in different fashions. Many critics argue that the awesome visuals overwhelm the contents of the plot and theme, but I argue that the visuals depicting Los Angeles in the year 2019 help to advance the themes. Viewers often miss the human side of the story or lack there of, and may object to the strong visuals for this reason. It can be argued that the visuals serve to portray a dehumanized world where only subtle signs of humanity's existence are dispersed throughout, where existentialist notions such as what being human is and what being human means are not easily answered.

To briefly summarize the plot, Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a cop from the future (blade runner) who tracks down and kills replicants, which are basically artificially created human beings. In other films, they are usually referred to as androids. Specifically, his assignment is to find and kill five replicants who have escaped from an off-world colony and come to earth. The most interesting parts of "Blade Runner" are Deckard's interactions with the various replicants, especially Ra...


... middle of paper ...


... also feel sympathy for Deckard. The film illustrates that both are in a struggle to become more human, Deckard because he is slowly losing his humanity, and the androids because they have never had the experience of humanity, but desire it. This sympathy for both entities further reinforces the blur that Scott is creating between the android and the human. Because the film does this so effectively, we can easily ask the question, "what makes a human more deserving of life than an android?"

Essentially, when all is said and done, "Blade Runner" is really a film about questions, questions that we should ask ourselves of humanity. What is a human? What does it mean to be human? Do humans have more of a right to life than replicants? Have humans and androids become the same thing? It is not so important that one answers these questions, but that he or she asks them.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Minority Report By Philip K. Dick

- ... 1-1) Citizens must accommodate with precrime laws considering any disagreement or individuality disengagement to these laws would result in offensive— nevertheless, the precrime police would have already apprehended these independence entangled citizens. Witwer: "I have the information publicly available, with the aid of your precog mutants, you’ve boldly and successfully abolished the post-crime punitive system of jails and fines. As we all realize, punishment was never much of a deterrent, and could scarcely have afforded comfort to a victim already dead." Dick, Philip K....   [tags: Philip K. Dick, Minority Report]

Powerful Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

The Minority Report By Philip K. Dick Essay

- ... This then, presents the idea that the future is rigid and whichever path someone takes will lead exactly to one specific moment that cannot be avoided. Therefore, Dick raises a theme of Determination, cancelling the existence of free will. Additionally, the determination is presented as a theme when Anderton is willing to do whatever it takes to clear his name. This at the same time raises a theme of free will. Anderton believes that one does not necessarily commit the crimes, and that the existence of a minority report suggests that one can choose which path to take....   [tags: Philip K. Dick, Minority Report, Crime]

Powerful Essays
1725 words (4.9 pages)

Essay Critical Analysis Of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep

- In Philip K. Dick's, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, animals have nearly become extinct after World War Terminus and the resulting nuclear fallout. This has suddenly caused animals to become a symbol of wealth and prestige rather than simply a slab of meat bought at the grocery store. But all-the-while, throughout the novel, Dick makes it apparent that the role of animals is actually to satisfy the owner's desire to simply own a real animal, opposed to a replicant animal, which is seen through the interactions of Deckard and his sheep, then again with his goat, and also with Isidore with the cat....   [tags: Phillip Dick]

Free Essays
1469 words (4.2 pages)

The Clash of Real and Fake in Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

- Phillip K. Dick wrote a great number of science fiction books throughout his life time. His books usually consist of fact/ un-real elements which in due fact create such am un-real imagine of life and all that’s in it, which cause the reader to be at a confused stage wondering what is real and what is fake. Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. is set the bay area after World War Terminus has devastated the population of Earth leaving it nearly uninhabitable and created a post-apocalyptic Earth....   [tags: humanity, empathy, confusion]

Powerful Essays
1257 words (3.6 pages)

Melville's Moby Dick: Comparing the Missions of Ahab and Ishmael Essay

- Herman Melville began working on this novel Moby Dick in 1850. In this book Melville challenges the relationship man have with his universe, his fate, and his God. Ahab represents a human being made up of evil, when he decides to questions God fate, and goes against God when he tries to strike Moby Dick the whale. The whale in this novel represents God. Moby-Dick, can teach you many things if you can remain focused long enough. However, the most important lesson that can be learned from the work is not that hard to understand....   [tags: Moby Dick, compare]

Powerful Essays
1654 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick

- In the short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” the storyline takes place in Chicago, Illinois. This story employs mainly two genre conventions that make it a science fictional reading. The first one is called future science fiction. This is shown in the text because of the tropes of calling the Earth as “Terra” and the futuristic drug called “narkidrine”. Spy Fiction, or Spy-Fi is also another genre convention because of essential tropes such as suspicion and uncertainty. These two genre conventions project the fallacies of the American Government, which Dick uses to persuade the audience into believing that the text is science fiction....   [tags: satire, neologism]

Powerful Essays
927 words (2.6 pages)

Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Movie The Matrix

- Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. and Movie The Matrix What role will computers play in the future. What happens when artificial intelligence gets to the point of actually allowing machines to give birth to original thoughts, or suppose artificial intelligence became identical or superior to human intelligence. While attempting to answer these thought-provoking questions deeper questions arise that are more pertinent in our lives such as what defines being human, or as Morpheous says, “What is…real?” The Matrix as well as the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Phillip K....   [tags: Compare Contrast Papers]

Powerful Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Comparing Empathy in Blade Runner and Slaughterhouse-Five

- Empathy in Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)and Slaughterhouse-Five        "What does it mean to be human?"  This is a question that is often asked in literary works.  Is it our intelligence that separates us from being like any other animal on this planet or is it something else?  Perhaps it is our ability to feel empathy for other humans and other forms of life.  If this is so, then how is it that we also have violence and wars where humans hurt and kill other humans?  How is it that humans can hurt animals without a second thought, if it's our ability to feel empathy that separates us from them?  Both Philip K....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
1673 words (4.8 pages)

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Essay

- Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Ragged Dick is a novel written in the 1800’s by Horatio Alger. It is a story about a young boy named Richard Hunter, also known as Ragged Dick, as he progresses though his childhood. Ragged Dick is a typical Rags to Riches story where Dick struggles through the hardships of city life, trying to achieve the “American Dream”. As a child, Dick is nothing more than a poor city boy who is trying to earn money on the streets of New York City. He spends his time shining shoes for working men, making only about ten cents a pair....   [tags: Ragged Dick Horatio Alger]

Free Essays
657 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Reflex by Dick Francis

- Reflex is a classic book written by Dick Francis. This is the twenty-second book he has written. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the novels he has written. This book is based on the life of a Photographer. The photographer’s name is Philip Nore, the book deals with the trauma a jockey has and how hectic his life is. In the first 50 pages of the book it deals with Philip being approached by his grandmother; (who he hates) and being asked by her to find her granddaughter. It also reveals that George Millace, a recently passed away photographer, has a secret black-mailing mystery and it is Philip’s job to uncover the Mystery....   [tags: Reflex, Dick Francis]

Free Essays
390 words (1.1 pages)