Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? | Study Guide

Philip K. Dick

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? | Chapter 6 | Summary



John Isidore goes downstairs to greet the new person in his building. When he knocks on the door, the TV goes off. He introduces himself through the door, and a girl opens. She seems scared at first, but becomes less scared as they talk. Isidore tries to be friendly. The girl tells him to come back when she is more settled. He looks at the rotting furniture and apartment and suggests they can find better furniture for her. He also explains Mercerism and "kipple" to her. When he repeats his name, she introduces herself as Rachael Rosen. When he recognizes the name as part of the Rosen Association, she changes her name, saying it is Pris Stratton. She then shuts the door, leaving him alone in the hall.


The two plot threads seem to have nothing to do with one another. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter; JohnIsidore drives a truck. Deckard is considered fully human; Isidore is not; and so on. However, the two plots run parallel in ways that don't become fully clear until the end of the novel. Those parallels start here. Both men encounter androids at roughly the same point in the book. Both encounter female androids. When Pris Stratton introduces herself as Rachael Rosen, she is also pointing readers to a connection readers will discover late in the book: she is based on Rachael Rosen. Pris knows she is not original and that she is part of a line of manufactured beings. It is part of what makes her bitter about her situation.

Pris also seems like she is playing with her own fate in this chapter. When she shifts names, she gives Isidore a clue that she isn't who she says she is. When she uses the name of the company that makes androids, she signals she isn't human. Together, these seem almost like a death wish on Pris's part. Later, she will deride Isidore, indicating that perhaps she just doesn't respect his intelligence enough to bother hiding her identity from him.

Isidore's explanation of "kipple" explicitly introduces the theme of entropy. Kipple is Philip K. Dick's term for the kind of casual mess and trash everyone generates just by living. It is leftover trash, a by-product of human technological civilization (and capitalism). For all of Isidore's supposed mental limitations, when he explains to Pris why it is impossible to fight kipple, he is essentially summing up the explanation of how local order cannot exist in the universe and why entropy will always win.

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