The Electric Ant by Philip K Dick In the short story The Electric Ant, Philip. K. Dick is expressing his sarcastical opinion of man in society and man’s inability to distinguish between the truth and fantasy. Using his main character’s life, Garson Poole, the author illustrates teh delusion of mankind’s freedom. This delusion is demonstrated by three components of Garson’s life: his automated reality chip, and his emotional and physical makeup as an oranic robot.
Garson Poole who, prior to his detection of the reality chip was under the impression that he was exempted from all the world’s restraints, finds himself in a bliss of confusion when he realizes that his life is being dictated by an automated reality tape. The presents of this mechanical apparatus symbolizes the conditioning man inherits from parents and others to conform and be accepted by society. This reality gadget restricts Garson from certain thoughts and certain actions and forces him into others. Unaware of his programming, Garson represents man’s naive attitudes towards the forces of the mass. With the discovery of the reality tape, Garson than understands that his life is inflexible and determined by a tape, and accepts his circumstance. This awakening dissloves the mirage of his freedom, an awareness that so many of mankind lack.
The facade of Garson’s freedom, was disguised by his physical apperance as a human. However we soon discover that beneath that skin and flesh hides a mass of mechanical gadgets that control and restrict his every thought or move. His physical structure, so brillanty cerated granted Garson with human feelings and the mirage that he was in control of his life. Eventhough Garson is an Electric Ant, he is an excellent representation of mankind’s delusions and their mechanically lead lives. So repitious and monotonous are our lives that we operate like machines not realizing that we are trapped in a vicious cycle.We isolate and remove ourselves from society, hopping that we can rebel and regain control.
However our inability to cope in a complex world, once againg signifies that society is in control of us. Our reluctance to conform, leads to the loss of our individuality and eventually and eventually to our extinction. Using the development of garson Poole’s life to illustrate the delusion of mankind;s freedom, we notice that eventough Garson appears to be human and alive, in actuality he is a machine and his life is determined by a reality chip. The underlying message in Garson’s realization tha the is trapped in this circle, is that all mankind has the power and desire to understand that he can discared of this fantasy and establish a true freedom.