In the text Time Out of Joint by Philip Kindred Dick there is inconvenient truth. The text is a Science Fiction written by a novelist who has written numerous outstanding and influential novels. Dick’s stories habitually dealt-with realism as delusion, Gnosticism, mad people, drugged-up individuals, individuals who seem mad but are in actual fact drugged-up, individuals who appear drugged-up who are actually mad, government schemes, malevolence corporations, eldritch abomination and simulacra. In Dick’s works there are twisted endings and revelations that splinters the world of a reader.
In the text Time Out of Joint, he uses a theme where he compares an objective Real realism and a subjective Perceived/alleged realism. He discusses the line that separates the two and if the difference is worth the deliberation and through this the reader gets to understand more about his state of mind. Time Out of Joint novel typifies several Dick’s themes, with its ideas and concerns regarding the nature of realism, and normal people living their normal lives and having the world untangle around them.
As the novel is opening, the reader is introduced to the central character Ragle Gumm who believes that he is living in the year 1959 in a calm community in America. His odd profession comprises of repetitively winning the cash award in a local news-paper contest referred to as, “Where will the little green man be next?” The writer takes the reader in the mind of his character and what they believe to be the truth; through this the reader is able to different between the perceived realism and the real realism.
Gumm’s year 1959 has a few dissimilarities from ours: As the story opens, weird things begin to occur to Gumm. There are strange things happening to him which are seen to be rather abnormal; according to other people these incidences are not normal. In today’s world people are compelled to hold on to the comforts of what is referred to as normalcy. In the novel, a stand of ice-cream peters-out, substituted by a tiny slip of paper where the words “Soft-Drink Stand” are printed on it. There is a turn-up of our 1959 pieces: an article about Marilyn Monroe (who didn’t subsist in their world), and radios (which had been discarded at the sunup of TV).
People who had no clear connection to Gumm referred to him using his name, as well as martial aircraft pilots. Some other characters observed these or went through similar abnormalities; the only exemption was Gumm’s alleged brother-in-law known as Victor or “Vic” Nielson; Gumm confided in him. Mrs. Keitelbein, who is a neighbor, invites Gumm to a public defense class and there he sees an extraordinary military factory model. He gets a strange feeling that he’s been in that building before.
Mystification and perplexity slowly overwhelms Gumm. Bill Black was near him and seeing what was happening he became worried; “Suppose Ragle is becoming sane again?” Actually Gumm does become sound, and the ruse that surrounds him (put up to guard and exploit him) starts to disentangle. Gumm is disturbed in his mind because he is experiencing things that other people are not experiencing; his mind at times get disturbed by these thoughts. He is surrounded by inconvenient truths of madness that many people cannot live with because they are in particular at odds with the normalcy.
Gumm attempts to flee from the town and is returned by Kafkaesque obstacles. He notices a magazine where he is on its cover page dressed in military attire, at the factory portrayed in the model. He attempts again to run away and this time with Victor, and manages. He gets to understand that his peaceful town is a built reality designated and intended to guard him from the terrifying reality that he lives on a then-future World (circa 1998) that is at warfare with its settlers on the Moon, who are battling for independence.
Gumm has a distinctive skill to forecast where the nuclear strikes of the settlers or colonists will be aimed. In the past Gumm did this work for the martial, but afterward he defected to the side of colonists and clandestinely planned to leave and go to the moon. He was confined, his memory wiped out, and the counterfeit town built so he would go on predicting arms in the semblance of a newspaper competition, without ethical uncertainties concerning being on the wrong side. When Gumm become conscious of his true history, he settles on emigrating to the Moon finally, because longing to make discoveries and migrate is an inherent human tendency.
Victor went back to town because he rejected this belief. The text ends with anticipation for peace, since the colonists are more agreeable to talk than the government of Earth government has been informing its general public. Time Out of Joint is a text considered to be a science fiction. It is a fine work of fiction exploring the lowest points to which a government is supposed to be permitted to manipulate citizens so as to save lives. Ragle is not just a fortunate game player, but he has inimitable insights into the approach of alien assailants and their next line-of-attack.
Ragle goes with it back home where he adds to some others he had collected before. There is nothing in this outlook of America has primed the reader for this crumple. Ragle is simply and gradually being equipped to investigate. The writer does not center on big details. Dicks writes as if from the point of view of the ordinary people and clarifies issues in a manner that makes sense to them. It is his alarmingly prescient viewpoint on contemporary society that makes his novel worth reading compared to futuristic fantasy adventures. He has mastered the suspicious mode of a conspiracy that is behind each bush long-before such approaches became ordinary; his dream rests on the estrangement of the ordinary man, brought by the madness of the contemporary life.
This novel, is among his best and most well-known and renowned work of fiction that typifies his intense paranoia and alienation by asking: what if the earth that environs us is a lie, no-more solid than film props, and we are the unsuspecting center of a huge conspiracy intended to keep us unaware of realism itself? The subject Dick hits upon is doubt concerning one’s environs; how can one truthfully belief on what one perceives as real? These are the inconvenient truths that many people are unable to live with because they are beyond normalcy. These inconvenient truths are inconvenient to the Christianity and all the beliefs entangled in this particular institution.
People want to cling on to comforts of Christian normalcy forgetting all about distrusting their surrounding and their general existence. Time Out of Joint is a classic portrayal of the disorienting difference that is between the world as we all believe it is and the world as it in reality is. It is the year 1998, even though Gumm does not know that. He believes it’s year 1959. He also believes that he served in the 2nd World War and that he lives in a calm little community, and that he actually is the long-standing title holder of newspaper brainteaser competitions in the world.
It is barely after few moments of troubling figment of the imagination that he starts to think differently. And once he follows his qualms, he starts to perceive how he is the core of a world gone awfully off beam. Gumm is a flawlessly realized exemplar of the classic Dick central character; the paranoid chap who realizes that he has every reason to be suspicious paranoid since he dwells in a planet where people know so much about him than he even does and realism is particularly fluid. This realism is also the dreadful feature of Time Out of Joint by Philip Kindred Dick. There is a fulfillment of wishes’ sense in the thought that an alienation from the world that is around you can be credited to exterior forces instead of inner ones.
Nonetheless Dick is conscious and alert on this and does not withdraw from openly and straightforwardly commenting on mental sickness. Naturally these are subject matters that he went back to over and over in his novel. His main character is situated in a world where even the time laws are under the control of exterior source. The metaphor in Dick’s novel, Ragle Gumm’s idios-kosmos is the year 1959; this is the reality he has built to protect himself from the atrocious reality of year 1996 i.e. the koinos-kosmos. They are the inconvenient truths that many people are scared to hold because that is not what is considered normal to them.
The inconvenient truth is inconvenient to the Christianity institution in the world because of the held beliefs in this particular institution. In the past this was more prevalent compared to the modern times. People in the contemporary society have a better perception to inconvenient truth. They believe they have a reason to be more paranoid concerning their world and their existence in it. Fundamentally, Time Out Of Joint is one lengthy reveal, good-humoredly broadening the truth out for its reader. Only in the last chapters of the story does everything begin to fit together and the account takes-on some sense of exigency.
Philip K. Dick. Time out of joint. Michigan. Vintage Books, 2002
Markus Widmer. Worlds and Selves Falling Apart – The Science Fiction of Philip K. Dick.
USA. GRIN Verlag, 2007