Android or human?

In any given science fiction story, the roles of certain people are often clearly outlined. So it seems as well in Do Androids Dream: Rick is a human who kills androids. However, the novel often subverts what characters could be androids at any given time. For instance, in the beginning of the novel, Rick administers the Voigt-Kampff test to Rachel Rosen. It seems like they’re doing it because Rachel is a control: she is human, and if the test fails and says she’s an android then the characters know the Voigt-Kampff is outdated. Rachel does in fact fail the Voigt-Kampff test, but in the beginning this is written off as Rachel having a defect in her empathy (but she is still human). But later on, we learn that Rachel is undoubtably an android. Similarly, Phil Resch constantly wonders if he is an android, but once the test is administered to him he can rest easily. The slipperiness of “human” or “android” in the world of Do Androids Dream is a common occurrence, to the point that the “goodness” of Rick (the extent he could be known as a protagonist or a “good guy” fighting against the andies) is called into question multiple times even by himself, especially when he’s wondering if the “andies” he’s retired were actually human. This slipperiness really inserts me into this world, because I have no idea who’s an android and who isn’t. When even Rick Deckard is arrested for possibly being an andy, no one is safe.

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