Why does it seem odd that a love of the arts still exists in the post-war world?
In a world ripped apart and destroyed by nuclear war and radioactive fallout, it seems somewhat strange that music and the arts still exist. Particularly in chapters 9 and 12, Rick Deckard, while waiting to retire his next android Luba Luft, is introduced as a knowledgeable opera lover with a soft spot for The Magic Flute by Mozart. So soft, in fact, that the “words…always brought tears to Rick’s eyes…” (97). It seems rather unusual for a bounty hunter, a supposedly large, malicious man, to have a love for the arts, let alone opera. But why would this seem odd? Can’t a man have a love for opera? It just seems totally unnatural for Rick to have any feelings for opera--or any other person for that matter. These humans and androids live in a world that has been partially abandoned and completely ruined by humanity. Kipple is infesting every nook and cranny of the Earth, while organic life diminishes into the dust. It seems completely unreal that amidst such ugliness and decay exists beautiful expression and talent.
Another oddity is presented when Rick and Phil Resch track Luba down to a local museum exhibiting Edvard Munch. A society that has crippled its earth still possesses original artworks from the 1800s? Not only does opera still exist, but original, priceless masterpieces are still intact and appreciated. It seems that this love for art has brought a ridiculous double-standard into Dick’s story. While human-like creatures are being destroyed and the Earth falls to ruin, people have the nerve to worry about art exhibitions. Maybe it is just a means to escape the savageness of life, or maybe art is inherent in man. Either way it seems artificial and strange.