Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

What is a question the author emplys through the novel and what is the answer found in the story?

What is a question that Philip K. Dick wanted the reader to find and answer by reading this story?

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This is largely a thematic question. I think one of the most important questions or themes in the book has to do with what it means to be a "real" human. Closely tied to the theme of life vs. un-life, the idea of what is real and what is unreal is a blurred distinction in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This dichotomy is best expressed through the world of the empathy box and Mercerism. The reader at first experiences Mercerism as something that one can only experience through entering into a state of fusion with Mercer, mediated through the sights and sounds that one experiences while hooked into an empathy box.

Yet, the reader slowly discovers that the world of the empathy box has very real consequences for the other world as well and that maybe the world of Mercer is just as real as the world that Rick Deckard lives and walks around in. Towards the end of the novel, Mercer begins to make real world appearances to Rick, even after his whole religion has been proved false by Buster Friendly. In the novel's closing chapters Rick even fuses completely with Mercer. He becomes the real Mercer and the real Mercer becomes Rick. The distinctions between the real world and Mercer's world have been completely torn down and Rick is able to finish the novel with a spark of empathy that was not possible for him when the novel began.