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2005-2006 Class Ideas

If you would like to share how you have incorporated Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in your classroom, please e-mail Julie Elliott.

Dr. Micheline Nilsen has created a course on the Mutable Body which includes a section on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? More information about the course can be found here.

Read the IU South Bend student created readers' guide or the excellent Reader's Guide created by WSU Professor Paul Brians for additional ideas for classroom discussion.

Questions from Student Readers Guide of interest to:

Literature students
How does Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep differ from standard science fiction?
How does it fit with the genre?
Does Dick’s lack of descriptive detail for the setting make the book different from other science fiction novels? Is this significant?
What is the significance of the title?
What is Rick’s favorite setting on the mood organ? What does this tell you about his character and his experiences throughout the book?
Why does Iran set her mood organ for depression?
Have you read the book Fahrenheit 451? If yes, how would you compare the two societies?

Psychology students
What is Isidore’s role in the story? How does he reflect the social needs of humans?
What is the point of the mood organ? What does it reflect about human nature? Does the mood organ make the human’s arguments about androids having no empathy somewhat suspect?
If humans’ emotions are controlled by a mood organ, how do they know if they have real love or commitment to each other?
The word android derives from the Greek words for “man” and “similar to.” How does this term relate to Rachael, Pris, Roy Baty, Luba, and the other hunted characters? How do they differ from robots? Is this difference significant?
58. Thinking in terms of a theme of social interaction, discuss the following ideas of community and self in the book:

A. Isidore—after what he experienced, will he be able to ever live without people again?
B. Rick, who goes off by himself, fuses with Mercer and then returns to society
C. Rachael, who grew up in the association, referring to herself as property of the association.
D. Other examples?

Communications students
How do the characters in the book react to Buster Friendly’s news about Mercerism? How is this reaction significant?
58. Thinking in terms of a theme of social interaction, discuss the following ideas of community and self in the book:

A. Isidore—after what he experienced, will he be able to ever live without people again?
B. Rick, who goes off by himself, fuses with Mercer and then returns to society
C. Rachael, who grew up in the association, referring to herself as property of the association.
D. Other examples?

Discuss the Voight-Kampf test and Rachael’s answers to the questions.
Why do you think the creators of the Voight-Kampf test chose the questions that they did?
What are the flaws in the Voight-Kampf test?

Political science students
Discuss the rights denied to androids—cannot have a will, cannot carry a weapon, cannot come to Earth, etc. Why have they been denied each of these rights?

Philosophy
Do the electric animals and androids have lives that should be valued? Why or why not?
What are the human’s social responsibilities for creating life (the androids?)?
In the world of this novel, what is life, and which lives are sacred?
After reading the novel, who do you think is more superior—the humans or the androids? Can this even be determined?
What is reality in this book? How does anyone really know that they are not an android?

Business students
Why were the androids created in the first place?
Discuss the rights denied to androids—cannot have a will, cannot carry a weapon, cannot come to Earth, etc. Why have they been denied each of these rights?

Nursing
Are the androids and the ethical issues surrounding them similar to the questions we face today with cloning? Why or why not?

Education
58. Thinking in terms of a theme of social interaction, discuss the following ideas of community and self in the book:

A. Isidore—after what he experienced, will he be able to ever live without people again?
B. Rick, who goes off by himself, fuses with Mercer and then returns to society
C. Rachael, who grew up in the association, referring to herself as property of the association.
D. Other examples?



Last Reviewed: 03/2014