Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Essay
Midterm “Take Home” Essay (50 points)
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Due October 17th by midnight
For the midterm essay portion, submit a 5 paragraph essay into the Turnitin link that will become available the week it is due. This is considered a take home essay, meaning that you are not timed and can work on it freely throughout the next weeks for later submission.
Choose one of the following prompts to write on:
- In the novel, animals are so rare because most are extinct, and they are tended very carefully, but not out of compassion or love–only as status symbols prized for their ability to confer an aura of success on their owners. What does the novel have to say about Western consumerism? About Western values in general? How current are these ideas? Can you apply any theories or ideas found in any of our other texts in this class about consumerism to any of the issues that you see raised in the novel?
- One important question is “what is it to be human?” What is Dick’s answer to this question? How are androids and humans contrasted in this novel, and to what purpose? Is his view of human nature inherently negative, positive, mixed, or ambiguous? Can you apply any theories or ideas about human nature found in any of our other texts in this class to any of the issues that you see raised in the novel?
- One of the goals of the novel is to show that so long as humans are anxious about their own tools, those tools will be seen as having some innate power over mankind. In other words, regardless of technology’s fallibility, if humans regard themselves as less smart or less able than their tools, then they will be at the mercy of their tools. Technology will advance, regardless of what the majority of humanity feels about that technology. Any struggle to remain the ruler or owner of new technology will surely fail. Is this a reasonable viewpoint? What does the novel say about the relationship between humans and technology? About inevitable technological progress? Can you apply any theories or ideas about the relationship between humans and technology found in any of our other texts I this class to any of the issues that you see raised in the novel?
*Be sure to include at least three quotes total, one of which should be from a different text we’ve read apart from the novel*
For citation from the novel, use this format: (Dick, 110)
For citation from our text, use this format: (Author, 493)
No bibliography required
Primary sources are the textbook only. Summaries, handouts, and videos do not count as primary sources, as they are not the authors own words. The latter are examples of secondary sources, which are allowed as supplementary information, but do not meet the primary source requirement.
Philosophy 140 Midterm Essay Grading Rubric
Introduction and Conclusion
______ Introduction (0 – 5): Does the introduction contain a specific, underlined thesis statement (the claim you intend to prove)? How well does the first paragraph introduce your topic and the issue in question? Is your introduction within five sentences?
______ Conclusion (0 – 5): How well did you state what you have accomplished in your essay? Do you convey the wider ramifications? Is your conclusion within five sentences?
Supportive Body Paragraphs
______ (0 – 30) How well did you explain and support your ideas? Did you apply any ideas or concepts from our class materials to the novel? Did you define relevant key terms? Does your writing exemplify understanding of both the key concepts you are discussing from the novel, in addition to what you chose from other class materials? Is your writing factually accurate? Do you demonstrate mastery of the materials you choose to discuss? Are the quotes you use relevant to your discussion?
Composition and Mechanics
______ Composition, Spelling, and Grammar (0 – 5): Is your language clear and precise college-level writing? Are you using correct terminology? Did you proofread your essay carefully? Are the ideas in your essay logically ordered?
______ Mechanics (0 – 5): Did you draw upon ideas from at least one other author from the class? Did you use parenthetical citation and cite your sources? Did you employ at least three quotes total? Is your essay in 12 point Times New Roman Font with 1-inch margins?
Total (out of 50 points)