Philip K. Dick’s story “Foster, You’re Dead” is such a compelling one because the plot of the story can diverge in two separate ways depending on the reader’s opinion. The author does this by showing not telling, indirectly informing the reader of conflicts and making the story much more layered. The main character, Mike Foster, is a very interesting character because of the way the world is painted through his young eyes. We truly feel his fear, and desire to not only survive a possible war, but to assimilate to his culture.
Another delightfully interesting aspect to this story is how the main conflict can change from reader to reader. The reader could choose to believe that the establishment was right, that it was better to be safe than sorry. However the reader could also choose to believe that it was all merely a sick scheme to perpetuate eternal spending on frivolous items by the American People. I would love to imitate this technique in my own writing, and create a plot that the reader could take one of two sides on.
This story teaches us that no matter what opinion you hold be ready to question it if the opportunity should ever arise, like Mike does when he questions if his father truly knows best.
- Do you really think they needed the shelter? Or not?
- Do you believe that his father was telling the truth when he got rid of the shelter?
- What do you think happened after the story?