Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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Roy Baty Character Analysis

An android, and the leader of a group of androids that escapes from Mars in order to come to San Francisco. Roy Baty is a frightening, intimidating figure, who clearly feels no guilt about murdering human beings. And yet there’s also something sympathetic about Roy. He tries, again and again, to “become” human by ingesting drugs designed to make him feel emotional responses, but seemingly none of these drugs work.

Roy Baty Quotes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? quotes below are all either spoken by Roy Baty or refer to Roy Baty . 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 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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Chapter 16 Quotes

In addition, this android stole, and experimented with, various mind-fusing drugs, claiming when caught that it hoped to promote in androids a group experience similar to that of Mercerism, which it pointed out remains unavailable to androids.
The account had a pathetic quality. A rough, cold android, hoping to undergo an experience from which, due to a deliberately built-in defect, it remained excluded. But he could not work up much concern for Roy Baty; he caught, from Dave's jottings, a repellent quality hanging about this particular android.

Related Characters: Rick Deckard , Roy Baty , Dave Holden
Related Symbols: The Empathy Box
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Rick Deckard learns that one of his final android victims, Roy Baty, has previously experimented with drugs in an attempt to replicate a human experience. Roy claims that he's been trying to hallucinate in an attempt to feel a psychic bond with other beings--much like the bond experienced by humans when using the empathy box in Mercerism. In short, Roy has been trying to become human; taking his cues from Mercerism, he believes that humanity consists of the ability to "connect" with others.

Roy's attempts to become human are pathetic, but not for the reasons that Rick Deckard lists here. As far as Rick is concerned, Mercerism is a legitimate religion and "empathy" is a legitimate way to define human nature. The real tragedy of Roy's existence is that he's bought into society's shallow, nonsensical definition of what it means to be human, then "failed" to adhere to such a definition. (Note also that Rick seems utterly unconcerned with Roy's misery--for someone who deals in empathy every day, he's remarkably un-empathetic here.)

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Roy Baty Character Timeline in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The timeline below shows where the character Roy Baty appears in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...live on Mars, where she befriended a group of androids. On Mars, an android named Roy supplied her with a powerful painkiller, silenizine, which made her somewhat happier. She also developed... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
There’s a knock at the door. A voice says, “It’s Roy and Irmgard. We got your card.” Pris quickly writes a note, telling John to go... (full context)
Chapter 14
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Roy and Irmgard have just entered John Isidore’s apartment. Roy, Pris, and Irmgard speak in private... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
John overhears Roy talking with Pris and Irmgard. Nervously, he tells Pris to do what Roy says, since... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
...that Pris seems moody and frightened—Pris explains that she’s experiencing side-effects of a drug that Roy gave her. She claims that she and Roy are schizophrenics, hallucinating that they’ve lived on... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Roy enters the room, carrying an electric alarm he’s built himself. The alarm will sound whenever... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Pris tells Roy that John will never turn them in. Even though he could get a large reward... (full context)
Chapter 15
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
Immediately after the events of the last chapter, Roy, Irmgard, and Pris vote on whether or not to stay in the apartment. Roy votes... (full context)
Chapter 16
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...beautiful hotel room in the St. Francis hotel. He reads the files for two androids, Roy and Irmgard Baty. Roy, he learns, worked as a manual laborer on Mars. Perhaps Roy... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...to give up on his mission, but now it seems like he’s planning on killing Roy and his followers as soon as he can manage. Rick takes a good look at... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
...quickly becomes drunk. She tells Rick, laughing, that she can’t go with him to find Roy Baty—but she’ll be waiting for him to come back. Rick tells Rachael that he just... (full context)
Chapter 18
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
...apartment, Pris and John are watching TV. Buster Friendly is about to make an announcement. Roy Baty watches as well. As John prepares for the announcement, he thinks to himself that... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...on to attack the principles of Mercerism. As he speaks, Irmgard—who, it’s now revealed, is Roy’s husband—points out that empathy is the quintessential human emotion. As such, it’s very important for... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
...Friendly and the androids, feels sick. He sees the spider, now dead, and listens as Roy reminds him, “Maybe this was the last living spider.” Stubbornly, John tells Roy that Mercerism... (full context)
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Animals and the Environment Theme Icon
Commodification and Consumerism Theme Icon
...John a “gift”—the spider that Pris killed, with its legs restored. Suddenly, the alarm sounds. Roy shouts that there’s a bounty hunter in the building. (full context)
Chapter 19
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Memory Theme Icon
...turns off his flashlight. He recognizes that John, whom he calls “the chickenhead,” knows that Roy and his followers are androids. Suddenly, he sees someone move. Rick draws his gun and... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
...door. Suddenly a man fires at Rick, missing narrowly. This is what Rick wanted—now that Roy and Irmgard (the two figures behind the door, he deduces) have fired at him, he’ll... (full context)
Humanity, Androids, and Empathy Theme Icon
Perception, Reality, and Power Theme Icon
Rick hears Roy and Irmgard running away from the door. He kicks down the door and runs into... (full context)