Neuromancer Post #1

Thus far in the novel, Gibson has chosen to emphasize the prominence of technology, artificial intelligence, and criminal activity in Case’s world. We come to know Case as a disturbed man who is obsessed with hacking into an alternate reality, while everyone he encounters seems to have been chemically altered in some way. Everyone has some kind of artificial enhancement and cyberspace is the ultimate destination for manipulation. Needless to say, Case lives in a very unnatural society that comes across as very futuristic.

During tonight’s reading, however, Gibson brings religion into the story when Molly and Case encounter the Zionite. The Zionites have removed themselves from society and have created their own religion.  I find this portion of the novel to be very interesting because the idea of religion starkly contrasts with the unnatural themes that have been so prominent in the novel thus far. I have always associated religion with simplicity and nature, which have no place in Case’s technology-dependant society.

The Zionists do not follow the laws of modern society, but instead “the word of Jah” (Gibson 111). The Zionite society is clearly very different than Case’s society. It appears that the Zionites focus their lives on religion, rather than artificial alterations and cyberspace. When Case first encounters the Zionites, Gibson explains that, “Case didn’t understand the Zionites” (Gibson 106). Case obviously can’t understand the Zionite culture because he is so immersed in his own society where it is normal to use technology as a means to manipulate and deceive.

I think Gibson included this chapter in the book to further emphasize the dangers of becoming a society too dependent on technology. The technological advancements in Case’s society have gotten so immense that the idea of nature and simplicity are a foreign concept to many of its members.

8 comments
  1. Jaime, I really agree with all the commentary you made about religion. It is the first time in the book Gibson gives us a scene without the use of technology. Also, for the first time, a god that is non-technological has been introduced. In Case’s life, the closest thing to god is the AI’s who have really been given god-like qualities. I also agree completely with your last paragraph. Gibson uses the two god like entities to show how far away technology has driven the society from its natural state.

  2. I thought it was interesting that you brought up religion Jaime. I almost see a parallel between these zionites and the pilgrims or any religious group that underwent any sort of persecution. It seems like in this particular instance Gibson is treating technology almost like a religion that these zionites have done everything they can to get away from it. This also seems like one of the few times when Gibson has brought a specific description of nature into the story as way. It is almost as if Gibson is showing that for every extreme movement, there is an opposing movement and shift from the norm. Could Case’s visit to the Zionites be foreshadowing a shift in himself? Maybe such rebellious nature will become apparent in Case as the story progresses.

  3. I like that you pointed out this small break from Gibson’s world that normally revolves around all things technologically. I agree that Gibson is commenting on the consequences of a world where humankind becomes too dependent upon technology. Religion becomes a distant notion of the past and eventually unrecognizable. Also, I think this scene with the Zionites is furthermore Gibson’s way of showing how possible it is for technology to change the nature of human beings. Religion is something developed through culture due to a need for humans to believe in some higher being, and the new technological world takes away that need, thus making religion unnecessary.

  4. Jaime, you bring up an interesting point by recognizing that the simplicity and open-mindedness that comes with relgion almost seems to have no place in the technological world of Neuromancer. Case is stunned by the nature surrounding him as he watches the kids glide across waterfalls and even has trouble understanding the Zionist culture. In a world that is so technology driven, I think Gibson tries to show the reader what life could be like if we don’t become so technology dependent, as you stated in your last paragraph.

  5. Jamie, you emphasize the disconnect Case feels from the Zionite society as a result of the different worlds they each are apart of. As you clearly stated, Case is immersed into a society where he relies on technology to manipulate the world while the Zionites rely on Jah, their god. Although I agree with your point, I don’t believe Gibson is trying to exploit the dangers of society dependent on technology. Gibson does not only touch upon Case’s lack of understanding, but he also alludes to Case’s uneasiness when he meets Aerol. “The Zionites always touched you when they were talking, hand on your shoulder. He didn’t like that” (Gibson 104). I think Gibson’s main point is that technology contradicts religion. Case feels uncomfortable because it is the first time where what he’s familiar with, technology, opposes what he is faced with, religion.

  6. It is very insightful that you brought up the theme of religion. I agree with you on the part that religion tends to be simple and natural, and the fact that Gibson places it with technology is interesting. The two concepts not only create a contradiction between two different lifestyles, but also a peaceful harmony that exists among people with different background, just like our society. The Zionites, isolated themselves away from the technology, is similar to some conservatives or some groups that hold different opinions from other people. I also agree with you that Gibson is trying to warn people that over-depending on technology can have a negative influence to the society. Although Case’s world is highly technologized, people can still survive under the condition without relying entirely on technology.

  7. Indeed, I do agree that the religion introduced to the novel contrasts the technological world that has been expressed throughout the majority of the book. Case is not used to seeing people focused soley on simplicity, nature or religion because everything in his mind is complex and technological. I agree with Jaime and her statement that “Gibson included this chapter in the book to further emphasize the dangers of becoming a society too dependent on technology,” because I think Gibson envisioned how the world is today and how our lives revolve around technology.

  8. Jaime, I’m so glad you wrote about his subject. But I’d want us all to remember that the Zionite isn’t all that natural or devoid of technology. They are in SPACE, after all. So what parts of our ideas about religion do we need to take back and reconsider and which ones still prove useful in this context?

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