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Deciding On Reality Essay

786 words - 4 pages


How do we decide on an objective reality? In “The Yellow Pill”, by Rog Phillips, two men are in constant debate over what is real. Although they never agree at the same point in time, both men change their minds during the course of events. In the beginning of the story, “Elton” is examining a patient, Jerry, who is accused of murdering five supermarket shoppers, one police officer and wounding two others. Jerry is convinced both men are in a spaceship and that he only killed Venusian lizard pirates in self-defense. Because Jerry is so sure and confident of this space reality, “Elton” begins to question his own reality. He takes a yellow pill, and wakes up to find himself on a spaceship. ...view middle of the document...

And in various positions about the control room were the half-charred bodies of five blue-scaled Venusian lizards” (Phillips 7). When Gar awoke, he realized the “police officer” and “supermarket shoppers” were really only lizards and gear lockers and “He must have been out of his head for two or three days” (Phillips 7). Gar admits, “I took a yellow pill. I’m back to normal again” (Phillips 8). Because of Gar’s mental disablement, he didn’t see things are they truly were, but this was corrected after taking a yellow pill.
The way Jerry died could not have occurred in a psychiatrist’s office in an Earth setting.
But Jerry had stepped into the air lock and closed the door. Gar tried to open it, but already Jerry had turned on the pump that would evacuate the air from the lock. He watched as Jerry glanced toward the side of the air lock and smiled, then spun the wheel that opened the air lock to the vacuum of space and stepped out.
Screaming Jerry's name senselessly in horror, Gar watched through the small square of thick glass in the door as Jerry's chest quickly expanded, then collapsed as a mixture of phlegm and blood dribbled from his nostrils and lips, and his eyes...

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