Hyperreal World and Simulated Identities in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Identity Hyperreality Simulation Technology Jean Baudrillard Philip Dick Consumerism


  • Yasamin Hemmat M.A. Graduate Student, Department of English Language and Literature, Khatam University, Tehran, Iran
  • Hoda Shabrang
    Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Khatam University, Tehran, Iran
August 31, 2020


In today’s postmodern world, the distinction between the real and the unreal has become confusing. This confusion is due to the impact of new media information and cybernetic technology; as a result, our personal and social life have gone under fundamental changes. Our lives have been affected by unreal images and information. We are being deceived by “Absolute Fake”. Philip K. Dick in his novel portrays techno-consumer world with strange forms of media and technology that lead to hyperreality, and simulation. Dick’s stories typically focus on the fragile nature of reality and the construction of personal identity. His stories often become surreal fantasies as the main characters slowly discover their everyday world is actually an illusion. Philip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? illustrates a futuristic world where the creation of the android leads to a blurring of the line between the human and the android. Dick’s oeuvre wants to answer to two major questions: “what is reality?” and “what is human being?” The philosophical guide for the purpose of looking into Dick’s novel is Jean Baudrillard’s concepts of simulation, simulacra and hyperreality. Simulacra to Baudrillard is more real than real; it is hyperreal. The hyperreal is simulation and simulation is a copy of copy which is removed from the original and even replaced by the original. Baudrillard argues that the hyperreal world offers fake as a reality. He believes that in techno-consumer culture the models, images, and codes come to control our thoughts and behaviors. In this novel, although characters consider technology and media information as a source of achieving reality, by reading Baudriallrd’s theory, this research wants to show that, there is no such a thing as reality and characters just slip into hyperreality which disintegrate their identities.