Monday, April 19, 2010
I don't want to say too much about the short story "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" just yet. I'm posting a few questions generated by one of my students. I think they're pretty good, especially for someone with a Wikipedia-sense of PKD.
1) There is an ongoing struggle between three forces in the text: machines, humans, and animals. How do these elements interact in the text? What can we learn about Dick's view of their roles from the story? How do they act towards each other?
2) What is the importance of the poster? What does it symbolize?
3) How do you think Dick thinks of technology based on this story?
Of course, feel free to make your own points in the comments. I'd like to point out that this is a very late story, published in 1980. How do you guys think this story resonates with the VALIS 'trilogy'? I find the story most closely related to "A Maze of Death" which we have discussed at length. I think there are elements of the Bardo and Dick even talks about karma at one point. Is picking up and moving to a colony on a distant star equivalent to 'starting a new life'? I also think it's beneficial to look at Victor and Martine's attitudes towards technology and how these view reflect their moral vision.
Update: We've got a discussion going in the comments section - join us!