The Electric Ant By Phillip K. Dick

Decent Essays

“The Electric Ant” is a short story written by Phillip K. Dick. Penned in October of 1969, the short story deals with the thought processes of a human-like robot. The protagonist is Garson Poole, a robot who previously thought he was a human. There are many points to ponder in the story, one of them being the similarities and differences between human and robots. Are robots as fundamentally different as we make them out to be or is it that we just haven’t created the proper technology yet? Conversely, maybe humans are essentially highly functioning robots? Although we may not be machines, our functioning can be highly mechanical. Additionally, Mr. Poole struggles with the concept of reality and he experiments to discover if reality can be altered. Can this apply to humans also? What defines our reality and is it possible to change the way reality is perceived? In the beginning of “The Electric Ant” we are introduced to Garson Poole. He wakes up after a tragic accident that took his right hand. Shortly after he is informed that he is an “Electric Ant,” or, as explained to him, an organic robot (citation). Immediately afterword we see a marvel of his creation, that he can experience true emotion. “I see, Poole said. Frigid perspiration rose to the surface of his skin, across his whole body” (citation). Poole was processing what he just heard, and it frightened him. However, he didn’t stop there and accept his fate as nil, he wanted to understand the depths of how he was

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