Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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Miss Luba Luft Character Analysis

A female android and talented opera singer living in San Francisco, Luba Luft has no idea that she’s an android—as far as she knows, she’s a human being who’s lived in San Francisco her whole life. In spite of Luba’s harmlessness, Rick Deckard is tasked with retiring her immediately—a task he finds very difficult (in the end, it’s Phil Resch, Rick’s sadistic coworker, who shoots her). In spite of her ignorance of her own nature, Luba Luft could be considered one of the wisest characters in the novel. Her question to Rick, “Have you taken your own test?” prompts Rick to reconsider his own humanity, and provides a powerful reminder of the relativism of humanity and reality.

Miss Luba Luft Quotes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? quotes below are all either spoken by Miss Luba Luft or refer to Miss Luba Luft . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Ballantine Books edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? published in 1996.
Chapter 9 Quotes

"An android," he said, "doesn't care what happens to any other android. That's one of the indications we look for."
"Then," Miss Luft said, "you must be an android."
That stopped him; he stared at her.
"Because," she continued, "Your job is to kill them, isn't it? You're what they call — " She tried to remember.
"A bounty hunter," Rick said. "But I'm not an android."
"This test you want to give me." Her voice, now, had begun to return. "Have you taken it?"

Related Characters: Rick Deckard (speaker), Miss Luba Luft
Related Symbols: The Voigt-Kampff Test
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Rick is in the process of hunting down and killing a suspected android named Miss Luba Luft. To Rick's great surprise, Miss Luft asks him what seems like a fairly obvious question--has Rick taken his own test? In other words, couldn't Rick be an android, too?

Miss Luft's question is important, because it tells us a lot about the structures of power and control in Rick's society, and about the nature of identity and humanity in Dick's vision of the world. It's suggested that Rick avoids considering the possibility that he's an android--despite the fact that he's frequently interacting with androids who think they're human. One could argue that Rick's refusal, thus far, to consider his own humanity suggests that he really is an android--he's been programmed to never think about his own nature.

There's also a second, more interesting possibility. Perhaps the reason Rick doesn't need to take the Voigt-Kampff Test is because he's in a position of power. Although the supposed definition of an android is a being that's incapable of feeling empathy, we've already seen that this definition is virtually nonsensical. The true, implicit definition of an android is a being who lacks power in society--a being who cannot defend himself when the authorities accuse him of being inhuman. Regardless of whether or not he's made of metal and plastic, Rick cannot be an android because he is a powerful person--the rules of Voigt-Kampff simply don't apply to him.

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Chapter 12 Quotes

"If it's love toward a woman or an android imitation, it's sex. Wake up and face yourself, Deckard. You wanted to go to bed with a female type of android — nothing more, nothing less. I felt that way, on one occasion. When I had just started bounty hunting. Don't let it get you down; you'll heal. What's happened is that you've got your order reversed. Don't kill her—or be present when she's killed — and then feel physically attracted. Do it the other way."

Related Characters: Phil Resch (speaker), Rick Deckard , Miss Luba Luft
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:

After Resch kills an android named Luba Luft, he discusses Luft with the horrified Rick. Resch points out that Rick feels guilty about ending Luft's "life," but only because Rick was attracted to Luft. Resch gives Rick instructions on how to avoid the sense of guilt Rick is currently feeling: get the "physical attraction" out of his system and then kill, not the other way around.

Notice that Resch has no objection to feeling physically attracted to a robot--another reminder of the gray area that separates humans from androids. Furthermore, the fact that Resch has no qualms about ending Luft's life, in spite of the fact that he's been shown to be confused about the differences between a human and a robot, suggests that his cruelty to robots extends to people as well. Whether or not he's passed the Voigt-Kampff, Resch is still clearly a cruel, non-empathetic person.

Chapter 15 Quotes

"Maybe they did just what we're doing," Roy Baty said. "Confided in, trusted, one given human being who they believed was different. As you said, special."
"We don't know that," Irmgard said. "That's only a conjecture. I think they, they — " She gestured. "Walked around. Sang from a stage like Luba. We trust — I'll tell you what we trust that fouls us up, Roy; it's our goddamn superior intelligence!" She glared at her husband, her small, high breasts rising and falling rapidly. "We're so smart — Roy, you're doing it right now; goddamn you, you're doing it now!"

Related Characters: Roy Baty (speaker), Irmgard Baty (speaker), Miss Luba Luft
Page Number: 166-167
Explanation and Analysis:

Roy and Irmgard Baty, the two leaders of the escaped androids, try to decide what to do. They're aware that Rick Deckard is tracking them down and "retiring" their group, one by one. Roy proposes that the remaining androids take to the road in an attempt to avoid Rick; Irmgard disagrees and proposes that they continue staying with John, the simple-minded human who's offered them shelter so far. Roy is reluctant to trust another human being, but Irmgard insists that Roy is wrong to rely excessively on his own intelligence and abilities--in order to survive, they need to "lean on" others.

As before, Irmgard shows every sign of feeling human emotion--in a time of crisis, her instinct is to trust and cooperate with other people. Irmgard's explanation of why it's necessary to cooperate with John might be overly logical and rational, but no more so than the explanations offered by Rick Deckard or Phil Resch (whom we believe to be real human beings). In short, the androids show signs of becoming, or at least striving to become, human. 

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Miss Luba Luft Character Timeline in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Luba Luft appears in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...Kadalyi will arrive shortly. He also mentions that Rick’s next victim may be a Miss Luft, a supposed opera singer from Germany. (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
...help to track down the androids, but he’ll reevaluate the situation after dealing with Miss Luft. He researches some information about opera before going to see her. (full context)
Chapter 9
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Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
...after writing his opera. Rick enters the main room of the opera house and notices Luba Luft, the next android on his list, impersonating Pamina, one of the characters in the... (full context)
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After the opera finishes, Rick goes to Miss Luft’s dressing room. There, he tells Miss Luft that he’d like to give her a test... (full context)
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Rick proceeds with the Voigt-Kampff test, and Miss Luft reluctantly listens to his questions. She goes off on long tangents about her memories of... (full context)
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Suddenly, Miss Luft points a laser gun at Rick and calls the police. A few moments later, a... (full context)
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Officer Crams and Miss Luft march Rick to his hovercar, where they find the body of Polokov. While Luft hangs... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
...android. Rick admits that he didn't have a chance to test either Polokov or Miss Luft for android characteristics. (full context)
Chapter 11
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
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Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...building—are going to sneak out. He also tells Rick that Rick will need to find Luba Luft again and retire her before the androids at the law enforcement office warn her. (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
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...convulse. He makes Rick promise to give him a human-android test when they finish retiring Luba Luft. Rick replies, “We can worry about that later.” Together, Rick and Resch walk out... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Rick and Resch have arrived at the opera house. They learn that Miss Luft has left the building to go to a museum. At the museum, Rick notices a... (full context)
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As Rick and Resch walk Luft out of the museum, Luft asks Rick to buy her a postcard of one of... (full context)
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Rick and Resch march Luft to an elevator, and when the doors close, Resch shoots her in the stomach. Luft... (full context)
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The elevator doors open, and Rick tells Resch to stay with Luft’s body—Rick will call the police. Resch accuses Rick of hating him. In response, Rick points... (full context)
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...designed to have sex with humans. Resch points out that Rick feels guilty about killing Luft because he was physically attracted to her. Rick realizes that Resch is an excellent bounty... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...has been taking care of her. Roy tells Pris that Polokov, Garland, Anders, Gitchel, and Luba have been killed. Pris finds this devastating. As far as Roy knows, he, Pris, and... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
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...his whole body feels numb. Rachael goes on to tell Rick that she knew Polokov, Luba Luft, and the other androids Rick and Phil retired—indeed, Rachael and Luba had been friends... (full context)