At the end of the novel, Rick Deckard discovers a toad crawling through the desert. Although Rick believes that the toad is alive, and therefore highly valuable, he discovers that it’s actually just a machine, placed in the desert by an unknown explorer. As Rick describes the toad—a resilient creature capable of surviving anywhere, even a post-nuclear desert—it becomes increasingly clear that the animal is a symbol for humanity, which has somehow braved the ravages of its own world wars. Importantly, Rick then continues to value the toad even after he learns that it’s robotic. This is a crucial turning point in the book—it suggests that Rick has come to find humanity even in androids, or else has become even more lost in the question of just what is “real” and what is “fake.”
The Toad Quotes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
I'm a special, he thought. Something has happened to me. Like the chickenhead Isidore and his spider; what happened to him is happening to me. Did Mercer arrange it? But I'm Mercer. I arranged it; I found the toad. Found it because I see through Mercer's eyes.
"Do you want to use the mood organ? To feel better? You always have gotten a lot out of it, more than I ever have."
"I'll be okay." He shook his head, as if trying to clear it, still bewildered. "The spider Mercer gave the chickenhead, Isidore; it probably was artificial, too. But it doesn't matter. The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are."