Literature Study GuidesNeuromancerPart 3 Chapter 12 Summary

Neuromancer | Study Guide

William Gibson

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Neuromancer | Part 3, Chapter 12 : Midnight in the Rue Jules Verne | Summary



Case leaves Molly's room and heads back along Rue Jules Verne. He runs into Cath, who shares some information about Lady 3Jane. Cath refers to 3Jane as "triff" (terrific) because she is rich but parties with the poor. Cath refers to Villa Straylight—the house belonging to 3Jane's family, the Tessier-Ashpool clan—as a "castle," which suggests it is old-fashioned, even Gothic: a holdover from humanity's primitive past, recreated in outer space. Cath then shares more of the same drug with Case he used earlier. She plans to have sex with him, but Case leaves and walks the street all night long, beneath a "hologram sky glittered with fanciful constellations." When he returns to his room the next morning, he finds the two Frenchmen and the one woman he noticed earlier in his room. They are the Turing police, and they arrest him.


Case's wandering through Freeside is an opportunity both to describe the space colony and use it to develop the novel's themes. When Case sees "fanciful constellations" in the "hologram sky," this underscores one of the novel's organizing principles: inversion. Constellations used to be patterns humans made up, or thought they saw in the stars. Now, the patterns and meanings really are there, at least within their artificial worlds.

Case's interaction with Cath fills in more about their world, the Tessier-Ashpool clan, and the characters of those involved. Cath is a street-level drug dealer and seems very unsophisticated but knows 3Jane because 3Jane leaves her family home to party. 3Jane slums it among the poor. This accents the extreme split between social classes that has emerged. As for Case, he manipulates Cath, scores drugs from her, and then abandons her, operating like the hustler he was at the novel's start. At the same time, the rage Case feels and his careful reflection on it indicate how much he has grown. He has become emotionally invested in what he is doing to a degree that Wintermute risks a backlash when he manipulates Case.

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