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Faithin Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
The novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K.Dick looks at the way that the religion and enlightenment conflict.In this case, Dick introduces the religion of Mercerism that makes itfollowers to have a sense of empathy and believe in their leaderMercer. The followers are in a cult-like or a fantasy where they arefollowing Mercer as they climb a hill. However, their unsatisfactorylives force them to depend on the mood organs that help ininfluencing their emotions and erasing any unwanted feeling theymight have. However, Dick reveals how J.K. Isidore is satisfied withthe help that he gets from the religion while Deckard is forced toseek enlightenment that opens his eyes to the reality. Moreimportantly, Deckard and Isidore explain how faith works inmisleading people, and some of the followers need to save themselves.This essay reveals how Isidore is satisfied with the meaning andvalue of life that Mercerism provides, and how religion blinds himbut, Deckard seeks enlightenment to discover that life is meaninglessand the reality is full of isolation and suffering in contrast towhat Mercer tells them.
Dick paints Deckard as a loyal follower of Mercerism that believes inmost of the beliefs and values that they introduced to. However, oneof his last ascents of the hill opens his eyes to the reality thathis faith had blinded him from. Even Dick reveals that “the pain,the first knowledge of absolute isolation and suffering, touched himthroughout in its undisguised actual form” (Dick, 92). Thestatement shows that Deckard understood that the “rocks” thrownat Mercer all that time were a symbol of the isolation and sufferingthat human has to face. In fact, he was able to comprehend the symbolonly after he decided to be Mercer rather than being a blindedfollower. The scenario showed how enlightenment and religion are twodifferent things that do not mix. It also proved that Deckard was ablind follower that failed to question anything that Mercer said andobeyed everything. All the followers are unable to question themeaning of the rocks and they simply believe that it was a path tosalvation, yet, it was not. “Rolling upward, he thought, like thestones I am doing what stones do, without volition. Without itmeaning anything” (Dick, 92). He does that to demonstrate that lifedoes not have any meaning as most of the other followers do believe.Deckard shows that regardless of what a faith system promises, onewill have to face the isolation and suffering that life brings tounderstand the reality of the world. The new state of enlightenmenteven considers everything to be meaningless and that even pushesDeckard from the other believers of Mercerism. Through Mercer’seyes, Deckard discovers that they are living a “life which we canno longer distinguish life carefully buried up to its forehead inthe carcass of a dead world” (Dick, 94). To some extent, it helpsin questioning the faith systems and seeking to help them find thehelp that they need.
On the other hand, Isidore is a loyal follower that is a victim ofthe suffering in the world, and he only finds solace in the faithsystem that has given him some signs of meaning in life. The lack ofenlightenment and the total dependence on the Mercerism blindsIsidore from the reality, and he believes that the religion has showngiven him the hope he needs. In fact, he is over-exposed to theradioactivity that has turned him into a “chickenhead” that makeshim devote his entire life to serve Mercer blindly. His deterioratingmental state was often devastating, and Isidore often thought how“it`s happening to me again. I will be down here a long time, herealized. As before. It`s always long, because nothing here everchanges a point comes when it does not even decay” (Dick, 85).Clearly, he was in a state where no one could help him in recovering,and he had lost hope in life. However, his loyalty to the faithsystem led to Mercer saving him from the entropic state where theworld was undergoing intense physical decay. The renewal of meaningin life resulted in Isidore believing that the system will save himcompletely. Later, Isidore even doubts the news of the Mercerismbeing a hoax. However, he is deeply frustrated when the reality dawnshim finally. In contrast, Deckard life becomes more peaceful since hetook enough time to understand himself before reaching theenlightenment. He even insists that it is the “long deserved peace”that prevents him from following the faith system blindly andanswering to Mercer’s orders (Dick, 96). Instead, Isidore goes backto his entropic state where the world is undergoing physical decay,and he does not know where he will get the hope to live again.
In conclusion, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep reveals howthe faith system can blind someone from reality but, enlightenmentwill expose one to the reality that life brings. For instance,Isidore believed and followed Mercerism, a scenario that preventedhim from understanding the reality. The mood organs retrieved himfrom the entropic state of physical decay. Hence, the scenario led tohis complete faith in Mercer, and he did not question anything sincehe had found the meaning of life. However, Deckard’s enlightenmentshowed him how the rocks were symbols of isolation and suffering inthe world, and they had to face reality as opposed to relying on themood organs. The comparison reveals that one needs to question faithrather than believing everything blindly just like Isidore did in thestory.
Dick, Philip. DoAndroids Dream of Electric Sheep. New York: Ballantine Books.2008