Study Guide

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Tough-o-Meter

By Philip K. Dick

Tough-o-Meter

Tree Line (5)

The journey through Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is—like many Philip K. Dick novels—a surreal mixture of accessible and difficult.

Dick's writing style and word choice are not overly complicated, feeling more like a coffeehouse chat rather than a college lecture. Keep a dictionary nearby all the same as a few technical terms slip in now and again—looking at you, "cephalic" and "catalepsy."

Where the journey gets steep and rocky is in the ideas. Dick's exploration of what it means to be human and how we can properly understand the human spirit touches on philosophical debates that have been happening for 2,500 years, give or take.

Sure, these questions are presented with androids, space colonies, and laser guns, but that doesn't make them any easier than they were in Socrates and Plato's day. (But they aren't any less fascinating either.) If it's an easy answer you're looking for, journey into another future.