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In this section, I will summarize my findings concerning the treatment of artificial men by the societies of Frankenstein and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. I will also examine the evidence in the texts that the artificial men of these two novels are actually more ``human'' than real human beings in terms of a number of characteristics that are commonly held to define a human being. It seems that both texts claim that humanity is a trait that can be both acquired and lost and really has nothing to do with the actual mode of one's creation. Being an artificially created man might not exclude one from having human characteristics and vice versa.

The societies of the novels are very similar in their treatments of artificial men- both the texts show how they are persecuted and hunted down. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? there is mention of the androids being an appreciated part of society in the space colonies but we never see anything of this. In this novel we also see how society looks down on the specials who are originally human but who are considered to have lost their humanity because of their decayed genes.

The desire for friendship is examined in both novels. In Frankenstein, we see how the monster makes elaborate preparations to try to increase his possibilities of making friends with the people in the cottage. Frankenstein, on the other hand, totally ignores his friends and family for a long time while he is absorbed in the creation of the monster. Similarly, in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Deckard is not very friendly toward his neighbor while Isidore extends his full hospitality to the androids that have moved into his building. It seems that the humans are not very concerned with making and keeping friends while those not considered human try as hard as they can to make friends.

Another characteristic that is used in both novels to show that the human and the humane do not necessarily go together is empathy and the capacity for self-sacrifice. In Frankenstein the monster throws himself into a river to save a drowning girl with no second thoughts about his own personal safety. His creator does not even speak up on Justine's trial, thus condemning her to die, even though the only thing that is at stake for him is other people's opinion of his sanity. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the importance of empathy as something that separates humans from androids is proved by the fact that the Voigt-Kampff test that Deckard uses is an empathy test. We see Isidore worry about Pris and how she and her friends are going to avoid the ominous bounty hunter that is stalking them. Phil Resch is more concerned for his squirrel than for himself when he finds out that he is an android and probably will get shot. The android leader, Roy Baty, has been trying to achieve fusion for both himself and some other androids. Rachael is willing to commit herself to killing Pris to make Deckard love her even though she fears her own reactions. Deckard on the other hand doesn't use his empathy box at all and shows almost no feelings at all. It is clear that the artificial men of these two novels are much more likely to empathize with others than are the humans, thus making themselves more human than the real humans.

The pursuit of knowledge is also something that defines a human. In Frankenstein everyone- Frankenstein, the monster, and Walton- constantly seek to know more. Here we see no immediate difference between human and monster. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the only seeking of knowledge is done by the Rosen Association. The human builders of androids desire further information to be able to make their artificial men even more human. There are no clear indications here that the pursuit of knowledge is important to humanity, unless you want to include the search for a definite method to differentiate humans from androids. This search is, in a sense, important to the characters of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? but it is in no way important in itself to the novel.

As I have shown above, a number of different characteristics that can be said to define humanity are examined in both novels. There is one, however- artificial memories- that is only present in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. In my opinion, this is clearly a consequence of the fact that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was written 150 years later than Frankenstein. In Mary Shelley's day, memories were simply something that you accumulated over the years. The very idea of considering memory as something that can be modified or recorded must have seemed totally alien to her had she come across it. Hence, the monster comes into being with no memories at all. In today's society, on the other hand, reproductions and recordings are commonplace and dealing in information is widespread. In fact, one of the most commonly cited components of the postmodern condition is the tendency of our culture towards ``the ``commodification and literalization of memory, or the more general transformation of what used to be 'internal,' evanescent 'feelings' and sensations'' into externalized images.'' As McCaffery sees it, many of our memories are no longer real:

Basically, our memories of many of the key events of our past are now recollections not of ``actual'' past events, but of the photographs or videos we have taken of them. In a sense, people now often use the ``real experience''- a trip to the Grand Canyon, our daughter's wedding- primarily as a ``pretext'' for the more ``substantial'' later experience of ``reliving'' these experiences through reproduced sounds and images that magically conjure up for us our past, a conjuration that seems more ``substantial'' precisely because it can be endlessly reproduced.

Given this change in society, it is only natural that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? uses artificial memories as a defining characteristic for an android.

In a similar way, the pursuit of knowledge as a defining characteristic of humanity is missing from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (except as noted above). This could also be an effect of the Zeitgeist: in modern society, the undiscriminating pursuit of knowledge has proven to be quite dangerous at times. Today, we know that not everything that comes out of science is good. This was not the case in Mars Shelley's time. In fact, one of the most well-known parts of Frankenstein is that Victor caused unpleasant things by aspiring to knowledge that man was never supposed to have- the secret of life itself.

In the novel we see how finding out or even suspecting false memories in oneself is a very traumatic experience. Not only is it difficult to ascertain the validity of a memory, it is also a difficult emotional experience to discover that one's memories, something that is very intimate and personal, are in fact just recordings planted there by someone else. Implanted memories have two major implications for the individual. The first is that it overturns the individual's self-image; as soon as one memory has been proven false or even been doubted, how can one be sure that others are not false as well? It raises questions about who one really is and might make a person feel that he has been living a ``false'' life. The second is that if artificially created memories are found, then this also means that the bearer of the artificial memories is an android. We are told that planting artificial memories in human beings has proved to be impossible.

On the other hand, the whole concept of false memories implanted in androids by their creators to make them less likely to detect the difference between themselves and human beings can also be looked upon from the exact opposite direction. It can also be seen as a parallel in androids to the archetypes that C. G. Jung found in the human psyche. Just as the false memories of the androids have not been lived by them, the archetypes are not part of every individual's experience.

In both Frankenstein and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? we have seen how a number of comparisons have been made between the humans of the book and various non- or subhumans. One after the other, characteristics that might be said to define a human being have been shown to be present in the artificial men and sometimes less so in the humans. This could be read to mean that both Shelley and Dick argue that the artificial men are in fact more human than the ``real'' humans or at least that the boundaries between them are far from definite.

Apart from the various situations where defining characteristics for humanity are discussed, there is another interesting parallel between the novels. Both of them use ambiguity in various ways to relate their messages. Already in the title of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? we get a clue that everything might not be what it at first seems to be. Right from the start of the book, we see the protagonist Rick Deckard taking care of his electric sheep and ruminating about how much nicer it would be if he were able to afford, as he once did, a real sheep. No other character in the novel (not even his wife) has a more than cursory interest in this sheep, but it takes up much space in his thoughts. Even here, we might- given the question in the title- start to suspect that he is not what he seems. Further along, when he is about to test Luba Luft to see if she is an android or not, she counters by accusing him of being one.

``An android,'' he said, ``doesn't care what happens to another android. That's one of the indications we look for.''

``Then,'' Miss Luft said, ``you must be an android.''

That stopped him; he stared at her.

``Because,'' she continues, ``your job is to kill them, isn't it? You're what they call-'' She tried to remember.

``A bounty hunter,'' Rick said. ``But I'm not an android.''

``This test you want to give me.'' Her voice, now, had begun to return. ``Have you taken it?''

``Yes.'' He nodded. ``A long, long time ago; when I first started with the department.''

``Maybe that's a false memory. Don't androids sometimes go around with false memories?''

Just after Luba Luft has accused Deckard of being an android, she summons a guard who arrests him. He is then taken to a police station similar to the one he works at. When he gets there, he realizes that he has never even seen it before and it is supposed to cover the same areas as the one he works for does. He begins to think that this whole police station might be a front for some androids. These suspicions are confirmed in a way when he talks to Inspector Garland who discovers himself on Deckard's list of androids to retire. As Garland explains it to Phil Resch:

``This man- or android- Rick Deckard comes to us from a phantom, hallucinatory, nonexistent police agency allegedly operating out of the old departmental headquarters on Lombard. He's never heard of us and we've never heard of him- yet ostensibly we're both working the same side of the street. He employs a test we've never heard of. The list he carries around isn't of androids; it's a list of human beings. He's already killed once- at least once. And if Miss Luba Luft hadn't gotten to a phone he probably would have killed her and then eventually he would have come sniffing around after me.''

At this point, we have no way of telling who is the real bounty hunter and who is the android. We feel further disconnected from reality when Deckard phones first his wife and gets someone else and then his department where they claim to have never heard of him.

This kind of uncertainty, not being able to trust the appearance of things or even know what is real and what is artificial is a theme that runs through the entire novel and in fact many of Dick's other novels as well. We realize that Deckard might be an android but we are never finally told for sure.

It is up to the reader to make up his mind whether Deckard is the human that we originally thought him to be or if he is an android with false memories. As a matter of fact, a third alternative might also be possible: that Deckard originally was a ``real'' human being, but because of his lack of empathy and persistent hunting down and retiring of androids, he has become like an android. As we have seen from the various comparisons between the behavior of men and androids, there does not seem to be a clear-cut boundary between what is a man and what is an android. This even seems to be the way Dick intended it to be interpreted:

A human being without the proper empathy or feeling is the same as an android built so as to lack it, either by design or mistake. We mean, basically, someone who does not care about the fate which his fellow living creatures fall victim to; he stands detached, a spectator, acting out by his indifference John Donne's theorem that ``No man is an island,'' but giving that theorem a twist: that which is a mental and a moral island is not a man.

In Frankenstein, the uncertainty is on another level. As readers, we have to begin our interpretation of certain situations in the text by determining which of the main characters' version of events we choose to consider the true account. Brian Aldiss writes in Trillion Year Spree that

One enduring attraction of the book is its series of ambiguities, not all of which can have been the intention of an inexperienced novelist [...] the novel invites us to confuse the main roles. Perhaps we are meant to believe that the creature is Frankenstein's doppelganger, pursuing him to death. [...]

There is a reason for the way the world has confused which is Frankenstein, which is the monster; the confusion seems to have been part of Mary's intention.

This intentional confusion between Victor Frankenstein and the monster that he has created is taken one step further by Rick Hautala:

Confusing the creator with the creation, although technically inaccurate, may not be very far from the core truth of this novel [...] The monster is the dark half, the Jungian ``shadow'' of Victor Frankenstein.

The entire text of Frankenstein is written by Robert Walton, a polar explorer who rescues Frankenstein. The fact that Walton is a scientist and thus assumed to be objective adds an air of scientific impartiality to the story. Frankenstein tells his story to Walton who in turn relates it to us. Now and then he comments on Frankenstein's honor and intelligence which makes us more willing to accept Frankenstein's account of what has happened. As if this wasn't enough, there are also parts of the novel where Frankenstein retells what the monster has in its turn told him. These parts of the novel have three narrators, each of whom retells what the previous one has told him. The parts of the text that are told by the monster are quite moving. We empathize with the monster and thus his story seems more credible. All this of course raises a number of questions about whom one can trust and what is the truth. Frankenstein even brings this out in the open when he says that the monster is ``eloquent and persuasive; and once his words had even power over my heart: but trust him not.'' There are also scenes that work the other way. When Frankenstein and the monster meet on Mont Blanc it is the monster who is calm and reasoning and who tries to adhere to the facts.

My entire analysis in this essay of the monster's display of emotion and other traits that are supposed to be reserved for humans is dependent on the events that the monster tells Frankenstein about. To be able to make this analysis, I must start with the assumption that the monster is telling the truth. Similarly, the parts which describe what Frankenstein does are to a large extent told by himself and are subject to doubts about their adherence to the truth in the same way.

As we can see, Frankenstein first builds up the impression that the monster is really more human than any of the humans that we get to know. When we pause to reflect on what we really know and what we have to take someone's word for, we find that this might not be so at all. It seems that Shelley is consciously undercutting the apparent message of the text by having the method of narration speak against it.

Something similar seems to be happening in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? where we have Deckard who starts out being the model of humanity and then deteriorates to more or less become like an android. In the rather surprising conclusion of the novel, however, he merges with Mercer more totally than people normally do when using their empathy boxes- and he isn't even using a box. Most people have the feeling that they are there with Mercer; Deckard gets the feeling that he actually is Mercer. The police receptionist even mentions that he looks just like Mercer. Thus, we can see that even though Deckard has been slipping downward for a long time becoming constantly more machine-like, in the end we have him identifying himself with Wilbur Mercer, the very symbol of humanity's capacity for empathy as opposed to the androids' inability. This conclusion to the novel can be interpreted in two different ways.

We can see Deckard's strong identification with Mercer as a re-affirmation of his humanity. If we choose this alternative, all the evidence that we have been given throughout the novel that Deckard might be an android is discarded.

The other possible interpretation is that Deckard in some way has Mercer. If this is the case, there is no empathy involved and he might still be an android. It might even be that his memories of being a bounty hunter- of being Deckard- are false, implanted memories. If this is the case, all the people who are re-affirming their difference from androids by using their empathy boxes to merge with Mercer/Deckard would actually be empathizing with an android to prove their humanity. Toward the end of the novel, the TV talk show host Buster Friendly claims that Mercer is a fake. ``It has often been said by adherents of the experience of Mercerism that Wilbur Mercer is not a human being, that he is in fact an archetypal superior entity.'' Buster Friendly then goes on to show that he has discovered that the images one sees when using an empathy box are in fact just old recordings of an elderly small-time actor named Al Jarry. If this interpretation is correct, then Deckard's transformation into Mercer means that through him, Mercerism has transcended its faked origin and become the reality it originally just imitated, a kind of literal deus ex machina- the ``god'' Mercer replaces the empathy box.

In fact, we have seen both Frankenstein and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? leave many questions open for the reader. There are many situations in both novels where we see the defining characteristics of humanity being examined. The non-humans are shown to be at least as human as are the ``real'' humans and neither novel offers a clear definition of the concept of humanity. Furthermore, both texts in one way or the other point out the difficulty in knowing even what is ``reality,'' what is ``truth.'' Both texts present us with two conflicting versions of reality so, ultimately, we are left without any answer as to which reality is the true reality.