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Essay on A Comparison of Neuromancer and We So Seldom Look on Love

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Considering that there are many different levels of realism, I have chosen to focus on Neuromancer by William Gibson and We so Seldom Look on Love by Barbara Gowdy. The stories explore the boundaries of realism by using similar elements. The most obvious one is the margin between life and death, which these two stories address. The main characters separate themselves from society's idealistic realism. Nevertheless, where is their identity placed when living in a different realism? How does one understand the reality of a person with a fragmented mind?

"`Linda, who told you? Who told you I would come? Who?'" (Gibson, 242)

In the passage above, case enters another reality in which he is able to interact wit the dead. A duality forms and there is no border between the living and the dead. His ex-girlfriend Linda Lyn is on a beach but she is dead. Though she is not living, Gibson gives her physicality so that her existence is real. The following passage proves this.

"Looked back and she was following him, not trying to catch up, the broken zip of the French fatigues flapping against the brown of her belly, pubic hair framed in torn fabric ... only she was tired and sad and human, the ripped costume pathetic as she stumbled over clumps of salt-silver sea grass." (Gibson, 243)

"For fifteen years, ever since Matt died, people have been asking me how a woman makes love to a corpse.

Matt was the only person who figured it out. He was a medical student, so he knew that if you apply pressure to the chest of certain fresh corpses, they purge blood out of their mouths." (Gowdy, 177)

The girl stays unknown throughout the story and is a necrophile. Compared to Case, she has a different interaction with the dead. In We So Seld...


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...ase's outlook on reality should be like.

The capacities on a variety of reality levels and its attitudes show throughout Neuromancer and We So Seldom Look on Love. Each story is able to incorporate diverse realities shown by the main character as well as the culture around them. When living in a different reality, one places as the odd-man-out to everyone else because of idealistic perceptions of reality. One can understand the reality of a fragmented mind when entering the unusual world of realism themselves as well as understanding the personality of those who are open-minded and accepts diverse levels of realism.

CITATIONS


  1. Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1984.
  2. Gowdy, Barbara. "We So Seldom Look on Love." We So Seldom Look on Love. Toronto: Somerville House Publishing, 1992.



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