Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Summary and Analysis: Chapter 20

Philip K. Dick

Summary and Analysis: Chapter 20

Summary
After talking with Bryant, Deckard orders Isidore to leave the area while the police come to clean up the mess. Isidore responds that he is leaving the building to go to a more populated area of town. Deckard tells Isidore that there might be an empty apartment in his building, but Isidore firmly declines the offer and states that he doesn’t want to live anywhere near him.

When Deckard returns to his own apartment building his wife is waiting for him. Deckard realizes that she is disturbed and he tells her that his mission is over. Before he can finish his sentence, Iran informs him that the goat is dead. Deckard isn’t entirely surprised by the news. He responds that he thinks the goat came with a warranty, but Iran interrupts to tell him that the goat didn’t get sick, but that someone came to the building and pushed it over the edge of the building. Iran tells Deckard that it was a young girl with dark hair who committed the crime. Deckard tells Iran that Rachel probably intended for Iran to see her kill the goat. Deckard kisses his wife and heads to his hovercar. Iran asks if Deckard heard about Friendly’s announcement and whether or not he thought it was true. To this Deckard responds, “Everything is true. Everything anybody has ever thought,” and takes off in his hovercar.

As he gains speed, Deckard remembers how he was once able to see stars. He then decides that he will head north to an uninhabited area where nothing living remains.

Analysis
Rosen kills the goat in an attempt to destroy Deckard emotionally. Although Rosen does not understand humans' response to the death of animals, she does understand that she is capable of wounding Deckard without any repercussions to her own well-being. This is similar to the ability shared by bounty hunters to destroy androids without feeling any remorse. This ability corresponds to Deckard’s empathic emotional response to androids and further highlights the contradiction he feels in retiring androids.