Lit 80, Fall 2013
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What is Human?

September 5th, 2013 | Posted by Shane Stone in Uncategorized

In Neuromancer readers encounter humans with modifications that pose the question “What is human?”  First off,  the genetic, mechanical, and biological modifications that people undergo do not make them any less human. You have to consider the context in which these modification are occurring. In this version of Earth, these modifications appear to be a common occurrence and although they seem strange to us, the modifications are a norm rather than taboo. In fact, I believe there is a parallel between the characters like Molly and Julius with modern people and their modifications. The Lizard Man and Cat Man have made many modifications to themselves to be something else. Even though our society sees this as taboo, we do not question their humanity. These modifications are similar to how Molly made changes to herself because she wanted to be something else, something more than a prostitute. These modification are a bit more extreme, but like I mentioned the context must be considered.  In comparison to Julius, you can look at anyone who has had a series of Botox Treatments and other plastic surgeries to maintain a more youthful appearance. Rather that plastic surgery, Julius has found a way to stay youthful without changing his looks. Actually, one could argue that he is more human than the people today who have all of these surgeries, but that’s just because a lot of times it can look unnatural. In my opinion, modifications can be made as long as they remain a biological being. I suggest this as my boundary for modifications because of an episode of “Teen Titans” when the character Cyborg almost loses the parts of him that “make him human.” He knows that although he is part machine that there are still parts of him that make him human, and he like all humans do not want to lose their humanity.

 

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2 Responses

  • Joy says:

    Interesting that you brought up plastic surgery – I thought about that as well, not to mention the prosthetic body replacements that are quite common in today’s society!



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