This response is to the short science fiction story “Beyond Lies the Wub” by Philip K. Dick. It begins when a crewmember of a spaceship purchases a pig-like creature from Martian natives, who call it a wub, and smuggles it aboard the ship. The crew suffers food spoilage, and the captain begins considering the animal as a food source when it reveals itself as intelligent. The wub objects to being killed and declares that it has decided to make contact with humans to learn about their culture. The captain kills it, partially because he fears its telepathic abilities, but it is then revealed that the wub has taken over his mind.
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It is apparent that Dick draws parallels to the ships that traveled between Europe and America in the early days of the colonization. The spaceship’s discipline resembles that of the marine vehicles of the era, and the relations with natives are similar, as well. He also raises the moral question of killing and eating an intelligent creature. The wub does not display aggression and admits its weakness, though its ideas are decidedly alien.
However, the ambiguous ending is the central point of the story, as it surprises the reader. It calls the entirety of the story into question, suggesting that the wub baited the captain into killing it so that it could obtain a better body.