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The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume Two: Adjustment Team
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Going Nuts - The Electric Ant (Spoilers!)

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message 1: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah | 4 comments If the tape in Poole's chest was how he perceived external reality, then was anything in the story real? What about when he cuts the tape - did he destroy himself, or was it only in Mary's perception that he destroyed himself and thus invalid because she wasn't real? Was Mary and the other guy ever real in any way? Poole communicated with a computer to learn how to alter the perceptions of external reality, so was that computer real, or was the computer a part of the tape, included so that at that time he would learn how to alter his perceptions? I really need someone to discuss this with me - I am going absolutely nuts! Someone who has a firm grasp on this story, please write back and explain!


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) Hi Rachel! I'm reading The Eye of the Sibyl and Other Classic Stories and I recently finished "The Electric Ant." At the end of the story, everything starts to fade away. Sarah notices that she can see through her hands and her legs. She can see through the walls and the carpet. The implication seems to be that Poole was right when he conjectured that she wasn't real. She was just one of the punched holes on his reality tape. It seems that everything, including the computer that told him how to alter his perceptions, was part of his reality tape, so when he died, everything died with him.


message 3: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah | 4 comments Susan wrote: "Hi Rachel! I'm reading The Eye of the Sibyl and Other Classic Stories and I recently finished "The Electric Ant." At the end of the story, everything starts to fade away. Sarah notices that she can..."

Thank you! That makes total sense! I am very appreciative, because you exposed the internal logic that drives the entire story, and explained it to me. That the tape was Poole's total reality was really the only solution.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan Budd (susanbudd) I'm glad to talk about my new favorite author.


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