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Philip Dick is a renowned author whose work has received a lot of appraisal from people of different walks. He is known for a number of speculations especially the presentation in “The Man in the High Castle and the Valis”. To Philip, in order to manipulate man and understand what he real wants, you must know the things that will affect him most, with this, the people shall always be at your mercies, “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words” (Dick 82).
It is blatant clear that Philip was so much interested with the reality of things; he considered reality to be of much significance compared to a person’s position or stand. With reality, things that are hidden and in the dark shall be brought to light. Understanding how important reality is and attaching this importance to people can act as a weapon, a weapon that may prove to be more destructive and fatal. Similarly, Philip is quoted saying that the most important matters in life should not be solved at night, “Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night”.
In trying to comprehend the works of Philip Dick, it is of essence to try to grapple his unique state of emotion and the unique interpretations that he has assigned to the same. Most of the works that he dealt with can be regarded to be as unique as they can be thought to be. It is not surprising that by the time Philip was dying in 1982, he could not tell of the origin of most of the works or what they meant. When Philip died, he left behind a eight thousand paged Exegesis that constituted a million worded document that consisted of a continued dialogue with himself that he held late at night. Philip is said not to have been able to solve the mystery behind the puzzle to the point of his satisfaction, it is believed that he enjoyed the pursuit for the answer much more than he would have enjoyed finding the solution to the mystery.
How Philip K Dick Uses Landscape or Physical Details To Make Meaning
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away”. Mainstream science has described reality as the actual state of things as they exist in the real sense. This can be simply put to refer to all the things as they exist in their real state when they are observed. As it can be denoted, the human brain exists in two specific portions that are divided into right and left. This are further categorized as the right and the left brain. To Philip, the roles and agendas that are attached to these distinct brains are very specific and different. However, for the brain to function, it is a must for the two half human brains to communicate and act as one through the corpus callosum.
According to Dick, the right side brain is entirely owed with the role of dealing with the present, the things that are taking place right now and here (Dick 177). It carries out its functions through the use of pictures and its learning is through the kinesthetic body movement. Energy is absorbed from our surroundings and translated into information for the sensory systems. There is no difference that exists between individual consciousness and the world around us. There is only one universal energy field that is seen by the right brain, this is the field of awareness.
Philip. Dick believes that despite the fact that we can not be able to correlate effectively with the world, the things in our surroundings will not have to change. Our ability to know that they exist and they are material will remain even when the brain, our brains can not be bale to transmit this information to our sensory nerves. On the other hand, Philip’s definition of the left brain is so different from the rest. This side of the brain thinks methodically and linearly. There are countless details that are picked up by it especially regarding past events and through it; calculations are made thus being able to predict the future. The left hemisphere of the brain is believed to think in language form, through this, an internal voice is made possible.
Importantly, the left hemisphere leads to the creation of awareness of our existence. This awareness makes us know that we are very distinct and different from what the right brain perceives. Philip Dick makes it possible for us to know and distinguish between what is false and real, he makes it possible to distinguish between what is part of us and what is not part of our bodies. Philip is said to have suffered several setbacks before coming up with the reality experience. For instance, he was suffering from stress as a result of his son and wife, he had problems with drugs, break in that is not explained among many more set backs. In addition his role in politics played another major part in influencing his life.
“Giving me a new idea is like handing a cretin a loaded gun, but I do thank you anyhow, bang, bang”. Philip Dick suffered a number of depressions during his life time. Due to these thoughts, he almost turned suicidal more than once in his life (Dick 181). More significantly, Philip suffered a lot of severe pain when one of his wisdom teeth was removed. On a certain day, we are presented with Philip who is mesmerized by the fist that was dangling between the delivery girl’s breasts. When Philip asks what the fish is for, she tells him that it is a representation of the ICHTHYS; this is a Greek term that refers to fish. The fish was used by ancient primitive Christian believes. In relation, the ICHTHYS is an acronym that refers to "Iesous CHristos, THeou Yios, Soter". This when translated to English stands for Jesus Christ, Son Of God and the Savior.
As it is later unfolded, Philip and the girl were all Christians thought they were hiding from the Roman persecutors. The fish was used as a symbol of identification among the people who were Christians. The fish was considered as a harmless pendant to many people’s eyes although it meant a lot. The girl does not only bring medicine to heal Philip’s ailing tooth, but she also brings with her medicine, medicine that can be termed to as spiritual.
The tooth in Freudian terminology can be considered as libido symbol. This is not necessarily the sexual libido. When Philip keeps dreaming about his loss, we are presented with the loss that a person can incur especially when one stands on your way either mentally, physically or emotionally. To Philip, his tooth was regarded to as a Gynopsis, it was still waiting for a proper stimulus for his anamnesis to be triggered. Libido can be also illustrated by the sleek phalliform fish. The shape of the fish makes it possible for it to glide silently in the unconscious minds of the deep waters. It is Christ who strengthens the Christians libido, he is the energy needed and the psyche that is very important. Christ does all these for those who believe in him and asks for nothing in return. “I think that, like in my writing, reality is always a soap bubble, Silly Putty thing anyway. In the universe people are in, people put their hands through the walls, and it turns out they're living in another century entirely. ... I often have the feeling -- and it does show up in my books -- that this is all just a stage”.
“Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We're specialized. Each one of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours”(Dick 102). The society that man lives in is structured and equipped with a mechanism that forces people tom adapt to the conditions of live there. As the world keeps on evolving, people with skills and experience in a number of areas with be regarded as the indispensable assets that will lead the world forward. This thus means that specialization will be greatly valued. Anything that is outside a person’s expertise will seem to be very complex, this is why no one can do everything and fix anything. According to Philip, he is categorical when saying that not everybody is capable to deal with all kinds of situations.
Things according to Philip are so different and by this different approaches are required to deal with them. However, people with skills and specialization are regarded highly to fix a number of things that may be regarded to be spoilt. This is an implication that for anything to work efficiently and as it may be assumed, expertise is needed. Philip is said to have seen the soviets scientists in one of his dreams trying to mange and keep an alien satellite functioning. This to Philip was a way through which different experts were planning on attacking the peace of the world and bringing it crumbling down on its knees,with the complexity.
"I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards" this is a quote that Phillip K Dick used after he released the novel Flow My Tears, the policeman said. In his works, he tries so much to bring real life experiences in his work of fiction making it unique and only to his own standards. This is one of the books that the fusion of nature with fiction can be seen as extrapolated by Dick. It portrays an imaginary future of the United States and he uses the past experiences of the United States to project the future, sometimes in satirical manner like suggesting that a sterilization law was put in place to control the population of the United States and most importantly for African Americans in America.
The reason why this statement so much fits the argument he presents in the book is that he is so well acquainted with the character of his book and more so with their daily activities. Unlike many writers who were showing the effects that the racial disparity in the United States had so directly, he uses his work in form of a fictitious form that shows this disparity and the aid of a Whiteman to a black man. Apparently, there was so much difference in the interrelation of races in the United States at the time but what the book was projecting is that one day black men and white men would interact with ease. What a way to present something that would be guided by nature and which to you is only a projection of imagination than to use fiction (Dick 7). This was so creative of him but unlike makers of science fiction stories he made it that all things about nature taking its course are manifested in the work of literature.
"In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real." These are words from the man who referred to himself as the philosopher of fictionalization. According to his books, A Scanner Darkly and Valis, one cannot help but to notice how dedicated the man was to simple things in life that had great impacts in life. These two books were mainly based on the daily activities of youngsters in America and concentrated mainly on what nature had to offer to the youths; that are in form of drugs. It therefore implies that Phillip was not only a writer but a strict and focused one whose aim was to glorify Mother Nature and advocating what was right for nature. A scanner darkly shows life in a fictionalized way but presents exactly what happens in the normal daily life of real people in the United States and even in other parts of the world.
As he personally pointed out, "Everything in A Scanner Darkly I actually saw.” This indicates that although the book was fictionalized, Philip Dick knew exactly what he was addressing in his book because not only was he familiar with the effects of the misuse of nature in drug abuse but he was personally a pusher at one time in his life and had even been in correctional facility in several instances (Dick, A Scanner Darkly 204). Substance D is presented in the book as coming from a types of plant with blue flowers, a creation beauty and which was on several occasions was used by addicts, he also shows the effects of these drugs when he pointed out that Bruce had been considered a walking shell of a man by his handlers. Apparently, the use of drugs was supposed to be so bad that a man suffering from drug abuse withdrawal or cessation, not to mention those who had already developed dependence were in so bad situations health wise that even medical practitioners loose hope of ever getting the men back in shape again.
"The grasshopper shall be a burden" is a phrase that triggered Dick into writing his novel, the man on a high castle which shows the lives of Americans and the totalitarian government at the time and following the assassination of President Franklin Roosevelt. The whole novel is a fiction story that revolves around the governance of the United States and political atmosphere of the countries that surrounded America or were allies of America. Note that he indicates many aspects of nature that took course after a successful assassination of the head of the United States. Unfortunately, the life was too harsh for the people in the United States that the author conjures up an image that suggests that the president did not even die but was still the leader. This is a kind of fiction that he uses to draw the reader to the possibility of a reincarnation that was affecting the United States of America. Note that when we refer to nature, it may be even the intangible elements brought about by a certain situation in nature that have the propensity of causing some unwanted effects or changing the course of nature of the life of an individual.
'When a thing has history in it, listen. One of those two Zippo lighters was in Franklin D. Roosevelt's pocket when he was assassinated. And one wasn't. One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it, as much as any object ever had and one has nothing.... You can't tell which is which. There's no "mystical plasmic presence", no "aura" around it (Dick, The Man in the High Castle pp 65). This quote was used by dick to show the thinking and the reasoning of the elite class of the America and those of Britain which was at the time headed by winston churchil. All this have been put not only symblolically, satirical but also in a fictional manner that depicts that political atmosphere of the nation was not only dependent on the fear of people of their leadership but also the totalitarianism of the ruling class. It would be a great injustice for anybody denying that phillip Dick was not a man in love with nature and a man who knew exactly how nature affected the daily activities of the people of america.
Literature is art and therefore demands that an individual becomes creative in designing how to present their information in the book. As has been indicated throughout the discussion, Phillip K Dick was a great author who presented all his views in a fictional setting which ranged from politics to simple things about lifestyle and most importantly his contribution in his last books in drug abuse. In as much as he was creative by presenting his experiences, as most of the books were personal accounts, through fictionalization to a point that he considered himself as fictionalization philosopher, he went ahead to forge an introduction of natures landscape and physical details in order to enhance the effectiveness of his presentation as well as assist an individual in the interpretation of the different works of literature. Note that in the world of art, in which literature dwells, the message is not presented in such a straight forward manner that the reader makes out the meaning immediately but rather a reader is expected to decipher the meaning of the text from deep mental evaluation, what is commonly referred to as reading between the lines.
As this is the case, in most of the books by Phillip, symbolism has been greatly used in the literature not only in a bid to fictionalization but also in an effort to present harmony in nature. Sometimes the landscape is presented to show the status of the people in which he is referring to. for instance in the rehabilitation center in the book A Scanner Darkly, he uses it to show the economic activities taking place there as well as the need for the drugs that had driven the members of the correctional facility to plant the plants that were a source of the drugs. All in all, it is true and in fact, quite right to conclude that the man was a master, not only of literature but also of presenting the facts of nature in his fictional creation of real life experiences showing different disparities among people not with words but with creation of imagery using what is physical and normal in the universe.
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