Mercer is a constant presence in the novel, and signifies humanity’s desperate need to connect with other people. Through their empathy boxes, people can join Mercer in his march ever onward up a desert hill, as he is pursued by “the killers.” This empathetic experience with other humans provides solace to J.R. Isidore and Iran Deckard. Mercer represents humanity’s struggle, and through Mercerism, the world’s population is united in empathetic contact. Even when Mercer is exposed by Buster Friendly as an actor named Al Jarry on a Hollywood soundstage, his power as a symbol is not diminished. For Mercerism, Al Jarry’s ruse does not quite matter. Mercer is such a strong symbolic force and humanity is so desperate that humans cling on. Mercer, like the electric animals and Rachel Rosen, may not be “real,” but what he represents is so important that his “realness” is irrelevant. Mercer is another representation of the ambiguity and confusion around what is real or not, organic or not, valuable or not. Mercer is deemed real and valuable because the human collective has made him so. In this dystopian world, yet another lie has become the truth.