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Existentialism In The Yellow Pill

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At some point in most people's lives, he/she will question reality. It might be as simple as déjà vu or as complex as doubting one’s own existence. This is a theme that is constantly explored by literature, and science fiction seems to particularly like the topic of existentialism. One such science fiction story is The Yellow Pill by Rog Phillips. In it, the two main characters, Jerry and Gar, are forced to challenge each individual perception of his world. Gar is convinced that his real name is “Dr. Cedric Elton” and that Jerry is his patient “Gerald Bocek”. The uncertainty causes readers to disagree on whose version is correct, whether the story takes place in space as Jerry tells it or on Earth as Gar believes. The answer is that story The Yellow Pill actually does take place in space. First, the secretary Helena Fitzroy is just a figment of Gar’s imagination. Jerry introduces the first doubt when he hears the name of “Dr. Elton’s” secretary: “Jerry nodded.…show more content…
Elton”. Without having ever seen it, Jerry reveals to Gar that the pill is a cure for space madness and explains, “That’s why they drill into you that the first minute you think there are more people on board the ship than there were at the beginning of the trip, you’d better go to the medicine locker and take a yellow pill. They can't hurt anything but a delusion” (Phillips 2). Jerry describes that yellow pill as a drug that prevents delusions, and “Dr. Elton” supports this with a scientific interpretation. “Dr. Elton” tells Helena, referring to the yellow pill, “They almost triple the strength of nerve currents from end organs. What results is that reality practically shouts down any fantasy insertions” (4). In both realities the drug is accepted as resolving any hallucinations and Gar is the only one shown to consume it. The pill removes the blurriness of Gar’s senses and allows him to perceive the world as it should
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