Study Guide

Iran Deckard in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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Iran Deckard

Iran Deckard is—you guessed it—Rick's wife. She starts the day in a bad way as she dialed for six hours of self-accusatory depression on the Penfield. Sure, this is kind of her own fault for dialing that, but as she tells Rick, "I think that's a reasonable amount of time to feel hopeless about everything, about staying here on Earth after everybody who's smart has emigrated'" (1.17).

Rick is unable to understand his wife's need to feel depressed and she, in turn, isn't supportive of Rick's occupation as a bounty hunter. As she puts it, Rick has a "crude cop's hand" (1.5). Rick even wonders if perhaps they should have gotten a divorce rather than stick together. Ouch.

Empathy is Like a Magic Penny

It's actually a good sign that Iran feels like she deserves to be depressed, because that lets us know she has the ability to feel empathy: she can comprehend the emotions of others. That empathy and extroversion helps bring her out of depression and reconnect with her husband.

Take the moment Rick returns home with the Nubian goat. Overjoyed, Iran decides she needs to use the empathy box and share her good mood with everyone. As she tells Rick: "I want you to transmit the mood you're in now to everyone else; you owe it to them. It would be immoral to keep it for ourselves" (15.60).

Rather than just consider her good mood as a bonus for herself, she wants others to be able to feel it. She even relates the time her and others received someone over the empathy box whose animal had died. Using their collective joy, they managed to cheer the person up (15.62). (Okay, now we kind of want an empathy box.)

At the novel's end, we see the mending of their relationship. As Iran searches the Penfield manual for a mood to dial, she hears a sound at the apartment door. She thinks, "I don't need to dial now; I already have it—if it is Rick" (22.15). No more Penfield (slash mind-numbing media) for these two. Seeing Rick exhausted from the day, she helps him to bed and then goes to the phone, calling an electric animal specialist.

She says she wants the electric toad to "work perfectly" as her "husband is devoted to it" (22.59). Iran may not know all that Rick has been through during the day, but she's connected into his emotional state and wants to do what's best for him. And wanting to do what's best for him makes her healthier and happier. (Probably makes him feel pretty good, too.)

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