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.