Literature Study GuidesNeuromancerPart 3 Chapter 9 Summary

Neuromancer | Study Guide

William Gibson

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Course Hero, "Neuromancer Study Guide," August 11, 2017, accessed July 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Neuromancer/.

Neuromancer | Part 3, Chapter 9 : Midnight in the Rue Jules Verne | Summary

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Summary

Aboard the Marcus Garvey, the Rastafarian space tug piloted by Maelcum, Case consults Dixie about tackling an AI and then about getting a closer look at Wintermute specifically. The pair tries it, and then everything goes black for Case as he flatlines.

Case immediately sees a series of visions. The first is the place where Linda was killed. He sees her alive, and then the vision shatters. Case realizes it is a vision and starts yelling at Wintermute. He sees the sign for Julius Deane's shop and climbs the stairs to it. Julie is there, but only because Wintermute is playing him. Wintermute explains that wiring Case for simstim gave Wintermute access and that they need to talk. Wintermute explains he is only part of the larger "potential entity." He also explains he was in fact responsible for curing/rebuilding Corto into Armitage. Case shoots Julie in the face, and the vision ends. He wakes up back with Maelcum and Molly and learns he flatlined.

Analysis

Born in Jamaica in the late 19th century, Marcus Garvey helped create the "Back to Africa" movement. He was a skilled public speaker who promoted racial pride for African Americans. He founded the Black Star Line in 1919 to carry people to Africa. However, the Black Star Line failed, and Garvey was charged with mail fraud a few years later. By using his name for a spaceship, Gibson does several things. He shows how history does not end but returns. People reshape it according to their needs and abilities. A successful space ship continues the mission of a failed sailing ship. Garvey's pan-Africanism is another form of the globalization Gibson portrays throughout the book. The "black star" also reverses the literal reality: stars aren't black. However, this is a black-run artificial star, and so in a sense, stars really are black now. Finally, the presence of the Rastafarians and references such Marcus Garvey are one of the ways Gibson's novel challenged existing science fiction, which at the time was overwhelmingly white in both authorship and readership.

The visions Case experiences in this chapter introduce several essential ideas to the novel. First, they demonstrate how little control humanity has over its technology and how big a gap there is between words and reality. Case thought the simstim link would give him access to what Molly was experiencing. However, it also gave Wintermute access to Case. Wintermute's actions in this vision also demonstrate his amazing abilities and his limits: he can create convincing simulations of people Case knew, but at the same time, he misjudges Case, who shoots him (disguised as Julie) to break himself out of the vision. This is where Wintermute's name also starts to take on clearer meanings. Case sees these visions when he flatlines and dies. The realm of death is cold, like winter. Normally, the dead do not speak—the realm is mute. This is where Wintermute speaks to Case. When he does, he explains that for AI as for humans, there is a difference between the physical body and the entity.

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