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Technology of Power in Philip K. Dick’s Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?

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The science fiction of Philip Kindred Dick is a manifestation of the unprecedented challenges of man in modern times. This essay is a sociological study of Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric sheep? based on Michel Foucault’s concepts as well as Jean Baudrillard, and Thomas Mathiesen’s theories about power and its techniques. The library research method is used to trace some elements of the technology of power and the sociopolitical issues in multiple layers of the novel which reflects implicitly the nineteen sixties’ mood. The high-tech society of it is watched, controlled and conducted through advanced devices, media, consumerism, and pseudo- religion doctrine. The Foucauldian surveillance and panopticism are discussed in this carceral society where the minds of the individuals are routinely inspected in search for deviancy; and where their moods are regulated and their feeling are shared voluntarily. In addition to panopticism, due to the important role of the media in the novel, Mathiesen’s synopticism is discussed. The man’s efforts for compensating what he had destroyed i.e. the devastated nature result in Baudrillard’s concepts of hyperreality and simulation that blur the line between real and unreal. Do Androids Dream illuminates the revolutionary mood of nineteen sixties, the uprising of the youth and marginal groups against the prevalent beliefs and values. It also reflects the anxieties of atomic age, cold war paranoia, and McCarthyism. In the novel, the individuals are ubiquitously surveilled and mercilessly conducted; the truth does not have an existence of its own, and it’s just part of the regime.
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  • University of Semnana, Iran
  • University of Tehran, Iran
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