Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? とBlade Runner : 黒人の表象としてのアンドロイド
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Blade Runner : Androids as a Representation of African Americans
Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick is considered to be one of the most unique and visionary talents in the history of American literature. Moreover, postmodern philosopher Jean Baudrillard regards him as "one of the greatest experimental writers of our era." Nevertheless, authoritative literary critics have undervalued Dick for a long time. This study aims at proving that his noteworthy work should be more focused in the field of literary academics.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of Dick's masterpieces and its essentially apt film adaptation, Blade Runner, was successful all over the world. Although Darko Suvin, a prominent literary critic, savages Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, note that this book is not a mere science fiction novel but a complex postmodernist novel. In this novel, Dick deconstructs the boundary oppositions between human beings and androids, "authentic human beings" and the Nazis, and the Nazis and Jews.
My interpretation of the book is that the androids represent African Americans as well as Jews. In his essay "Naziism and The High Castle," Dick remarks that fascism is a serious problem in not only Europe but also the United States and identifies Jews with African Americans because both growps were persecuted by their respective societies. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which was written in the mid 1960s, reflects the problem of deep-rooted discrimination against African Americans at that time. In short, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a serious novel that criticizes the fascist element in the American society.
Dick is highly regarded in the movie world today, and his novels have been frequently adapted as films. Literary critics should immediately appreciate his novels, whose themes are considerably profound.