Let me tell you a story

Of a boy with no soul.

Nothing’s wrong with him, really

But he isn’t quite whole.


Now, the boy was a Who—

Wait, there’s doubt about that.

Since his Whomanity’s in question

Let’s just call him Matt.


See, Matt’s a bit diff’rent from most other Whos.

Instead of a mother, he came from a moo!

But before you judge harshly,

Consider this, partially:

What we know of his kind is sometimes untrue.


Oh. Didn’t you know?

Matt’s one permutation of a Who-made sensation—

Like Cylons, Replicants, and Frankenstein’s creation.


But let’s take a pause, away from those wretches

And consider Matt’s flaws through a couple of sketches.


In the beginning, Matts weren’t born

They were harvested in bulk like bushels of corn.

Matt was a Who, for all intents and purposes

But there were some big differ’enceses


That’s why, for instance, when he first met children.

They treated him like some kind of demon.


“He is an animal” one named Steven cajoled,

“It can’t be a Who when it’s lacking a soul.

I should have known that it was a clone,

The minute I saw it was living alone.”


“That’s disgusting. Clones aren’t Whos.

Don’t they belong in mangers or zoos?”

Another kid named Emilia cried.

“I actually touched it, I could’ve died!”


Even though most Whos hated Matteo,

It was deemed wise not to openly say so.

(At least not in front of the great El Patron,

‘Cause he’s the powerful man from whom Matt was cloned)


This wealthy drug lord loved his clone dearly

(For a self-centered reason, but it was sincerely).

He lavished his clone with attention and gifts.

When Matt was down he’d give him a lift:


“Flesh of my flesh,

Bone of my bone,

I love you, Matteo

For you are my clone.”


While these words filled Matteo with hope,

A sinister motive drove the Despot of Dope.

Pity the clone—thought he was groomed for his smarts—

Not really knowing he was grown for his heart.


But don’t feel so bad for little-old Matt.

It isn’t so sad, considering that

He’s just a thing lacking a soul.

Not even one as small as a mole.


What is a soul? And how do you know?

Is it something that over time grows?

Or is it a grace only God can bestow?

Maybe Matt has it, you never know.


Why, what silly questions all of you ask.

A soul is that thing that every Who has.

And since the dear boy is not a true Who

It goes without saying, he has no soul, too.

To believe otherwise is simply taboo!


Circular reasoning?! Logical fallacy?!

You can’t accuse me when I’ve shown no malice! He—


Must have no soul for that’s what I’m told.

I will believe that until I am old.


Wait a Who minute. What am I saying?

This is plain ol’ ignorance I’m displaying.

Excuse me a moment, I’m simply confused.

Oh great, dear reader, now you’re amused.


As much as it pains me, you’ve rearranged me,

I have now come to reconsider my views.


A soul’s not a thing you can smell, touch, or feel.

Nor can you hear it, or taste like a meal.

If a soul doesn’t have a distinguishing feature,

Then how can we tell if it’s inside a creature?


You say there’re other, more tangible clues,

As to whether something is truly a Who?

Why didn’t you say so before?

Is it a test, or some other, something you score?


No? You say it’s something I already know?

Look at the outside ‘n his Whomanity will show?

Hm. That’s strange. I don’t see diff’renceses

Matt is a Who for all intents and purposes.


Let me change up my story.

And forget about souls.

Nothing wrong with him.




This Who is quite whole.

A κλών has agency, too.

On Tuesday, Professor Sample mentioned that the word clone comes from the Greek word for twig (κλών). He also noted that it was first used in botany, if I remember correctly. Two things about this. First, it comes as a shock to me that a word so entwined with the perversion of nature should come from the study of plant cultivation. (Then again, plant cloning, grafting, splicing and dicing is itself unnatural so it shouldn’t be too discordant.)

Anyway, the second and more important point is that the etymology of the word clone is leading me to code the word in a different way. Whereas the word used to carry a connotation of finality or inevitability, now clone brings to mind a sense of chance and uncertainty. Clones now have agency for me.

Think about it. Two genetically identical plants can, under different environmental conditions—one raised under optimal conditions, and the other in darkness—will grow to be two very different plants. Ring a bell?

After El Patron has a heart attack at Steven and Emilia’s wedding, Matt remembers what Tam Lin once told him:

Very dark indeed is his majesty when he wants to be. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted. (p. 216).

Knowing the history of the word gives added significance to Tam Lin’s words.I think it’s apparent that Nancy Farmer also believes that people and clones alike are not only shaped by external forces, they have the power to change their future. In the nature vs. nurture debate, Farmer seems to be firmly on the side of nurture.

I used to think of clones as an exact copy of the original in every way. Learning about the history of the word changed that.


h + eh + l + ou = Hello

Please view this post on my blog.



[Excelsior to vessel approaching 230°Az -45°dec rel. Hello Odin. Excelsior to vessel approaching 230°Az -45°dec rel. Hello Odin. Odin to Excelsior. Request permission to land. You are cleared for landing Odin…First time on Mars? Welcome to the neighborhood…

This is Rorschach. I have developed stability problems. Request assistance. Please proceed to my assistance. What is your ETA at our distress position? We sent you a transmission, did you receive? Kelvin, you double-check those readings? Our gravitational sensors are going crazy here. You should see this. It looks like a lightning storm. What you’ve sent us doesn’t seem possible. Yes ma’am, I understand, that’s why we sent it. Report. Still outta visual range for 20 seconds. Alert captain Robau that Starfleet advised to proceed with caution…Polarize the view screen. Captain, we have visual. Repeat. Captain, are you seeing this? Evasive pattern delta 5! All remaining power to forward shields. Prepare shuttles for evacuation…]

Rorschach to vessel approaching 116°Az -23°dec rel. Hello Theseus. Rorschach to vessel approaching 116°Az -23°dec rel. Hello Theseus. Rorschach to vessel approachi


[Intrepid to vessel. Intrepid to vessel, do you copy? Ya…Yamato to Intrepid…We’ve sustained heavy structural damage. Request assistance. Negative, Yamato. We are here to investigate disturbances emanating from beyond your position. Hail another vessel. Negative, Intrepid. You should stay away. This place is dangerous. Magnetic and radiation disturbances are jamming our long-distance communications capabilities. Request immediate assistance. Negative, Yamato. Our mission is top priority by order of the magistrate. We will send for assistance. Seriously! This place is dangerous! The rad–Don’t be alarmed, Yamato. There’s an I-CAN freighter in a nearby sector. Help will arrive shortly. Our ship’s been Faraday’d. We can take it. Intrepid to Proxima. Proxima, do you copy? (zztsscchh) Intrepid to Proxima. Do you copy? (zztsscchh)Vessel in need of urgent assistance in sector nine. Shit. Hello? Captain, we’ve lost comms! What…]

Hello Theseus. Welcome to the neighborhood. You should stay away. Seriously. This place is dangerous.

Request information on danger.

Too close and dangerous to you. low orbit complications.

Request information on low orbit complications.

Lethal environment. Rocks and rads. You’re welcome. I can take it but we’re like that.

We are aware of the rocks in low orbit. We are equipped to deal with radiation. Request information on other hazards.

[Hey Jim, thanks for covering my ass in there. Anytime. What are friends for?

Captain! I’m getting bioelectrical readings from our probe on Titan! There’s life on Titan! Easy, lieutenant. Send a team down there to investigate. Let’s hold off on the celebration until we collect more data…]

Anytime between friends, right? Are you here for the celebration?

We are here to explore. Request dialog with agents who sent objects into near-solar space.

First contact. Sounds like something to celebrate.

Request information about your celebration.

You’re interested.


You are?


You are?

This is Theseus

[Don’t worry about him he’s just a baseline mongrel…
Hey baseline!…
Sir, the sensor’s readings far exceed baseline levels…]

I know that, baseline.

Who are you?

This is Susan James. I am a—

You wouldn’t be happy here, Susan. Fetishistic religious beliefs involved. There are dangerous observances.

Request clarification. Are we in danger from these observances?

You certainly could be.

Request clarification. Is it the observances that are dangerous, or the low-orbit environment?

[Comrade Liu, pay attention! Inattention connotes indifference. Or disrespect, isn’t that right Comrade Wei? Oh! Captain, I didn’t know you were here. I was just trying to relay to my Comrade here some of the safety protocols in our hold…]

The environment of the disturbances. You should pay attention, Susan. Inattention connotes indifference.

Or disrespect.

Request information on environments you consider lethal. Request information on your response to the prospect of imminent exposure to lethal environments.

[This is Captain Weinstein of the USS Relativity. Turn around. This area is prohibited. I repeat, prohibited. This is Captain Teller. My apologies Captain Weinstein, we will be glad to comply…

Requesting permission to board. Of course, captain. I must first warn you, we’ve been operating without our shields for many weeks. On board radiation is very high…]

Glad to comply. But your lethal is different from us. there are many migrating circumstances.

(pp. 96-104)



How do you represent the mental processes of a being with no consciousness let alone the capacity for symbolic thought? I don’t really know, but I started off with certain assumptions. I assumed that the scramblers were at the very least capable of distinguishing between phonemes (the smallest units of sound in language). So I figured that they felt patterns forming among certain phonemes, which frequently clustered together (hope this helps explain the title). The aliens must have then noticed that these clusters of sounds themselves belonged to a pattern–basically morphemes, except that the scrambler have no concept of meaning. And through sheer processing power, they figured out syntax and other rules of language that Watts mentions like phrase-structure grammar, long-distance dependencies, and FLN recursion.

The short passages within the brackets represent an infinitesimally small sampling of the sounds that the scramblers would have processed. I put those there to show (in an extremely simplified way) how the aliens might have learned ship-to-ship protocols and how to convincingly mimic human interactions. I had initially planned to erase all punctuation and to rewrite the words phonetically to more closely approximate the jumble of sounds the scramblers might have heard , but that would’ve been too confusing to read (not to mention time consuming).

Finally, each change in the transcription of  Rorshach’s transmissions signifies the change in tone that Watts indicates in the book. Theseus’ transmissions are depicted in enlarged red font to convey a sense of threat and intrusion. If language itself is seen as a violent act to the scramblers, I wanted to show how benign words can still be harsh and in your face.

The end result is messy and complicated but just imagine you’re a non-self aware being inside a Chinese Room and you might see it this way too.


(Note: Most of the second paragraph beginning This is Rorschach is directly from the script of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. The ship names I’ve used also come from the Star Trek universe. For more on the symbols at the top of the post check out the Wiki entry on phrase structure rules here.)


I’m pork, therefore I’m ham.

“I wastes energy and processing power, self-obsesses to the point of psychosis. Scramblers have no need of it, scramblers are more parsimonious. With simpler biochemistries, with smaller brains—deprived of tools, of their ship, even of parts of their own metabolism—they think rings around you. They hide their language in plain sight, even when you know what they’re saying. They turn your own cognition against itself. They travel between the stars. This is what intelligence can do, unhampered by self-awareness” (p. 304).

Consciousness sucks. I totally buy it. After trudging through the thick, impassably dense fog that is Peter Watts’ thought experiment, I buy it. I buy it like the forcibly sleep-deprived inmate at Guantanamo buys whatever the interrogator is selling him. Well, actually, that’s too harsh a comparison. Although I am a tired and bleary eyed mess at the moment, I thoroughly enjoyed what little I’ve understood of Blindsight. Of the many fascinating ideas saturating its pages, the one that caught my attention comes from the line quoted above. It’s the idea that consciousness is costly and inefficient. What an idea. Consciousness or self-awareness is usually thought to be the crown-jewel of biological evolution. It’s thought to be a prerequisite for (or a byproduct of) higher-order intelligence. I think this is the paradigm that pretty much everyone has accepted.

Watts turns that paradigm on its head. He argues that consciousness isn’t particularly essential to survival. The more primitive parts of our brain detect and act on a threat before the highfalutin prefrontal cortex (or wherever the seat of consciousness happens to be) is still checking itself out in the mirror.  His argument isn’t perfect of course; he needs fictional aliens to do make his case. But Watts does raise interesting questions. What is the nature of consciousness? Is having consciousness worth the trouble of all this existential angst? Did I forget feed the fish? Wait, that last one…Oh you get the idea.

In short, consciousness is totally overrated.



God. I don’t even know why I bother writing in here anymore. Catharsis? Habit? Yori says keeping a journal reduces stress. Says it’ll be good for my “mental health,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. We all know there’s nothing I can do to stave off my Huntington’s, short of going back to those things…

Anyway, the girls are gone. Amma and Shkaht ran away before Neci had a chance to chop off their tentacles.

I can’t believe Neci tried to go through with it without the group’s consensus! It’s fucking degenerates like her that doomed humanity in the first place. There’s no reasoning with such people. All they have is their hate and misguided hopes. They hope that if we kidnap a few human looking constructs everything will go back to the way it was before the war—hope, beyond all reason and evidence to the contrary.

Hope is simultaneously humanity’s greatest strength and its biggest weakness, right? Isn’t that how the saying goes? Well, whoever thought the first part to be true never met Neci.


I’m beginning to lose hope. If it just wasn’t for the goddamned Oankali and their goddamned trade, we’d be rebuilding instead of relying on hope and living on pipe dreams. They keep insisting that our “contradiction” will inevitably lead to our demise. They think they’re doing us a favor. Keeping us alive. But what is life if it means I have to lose the most important part of me, if I give up everything I’ve known to be true, if I’m no longer human? Life would be meaningless.

If we destroy ourselves again, so be it. Death is preferable to a life without meaning.

Fair Trade?

Although anthropology does not explicitly train for “first contact” with extraterrestrials, it does prepare one for dealing with an alien culture. Lilith, as a student of the discipline, is well-suited to the task of understanding intelligent beings that have a different orientation to reality whether that being is human or something else. She has probably been trained to be aware that the ‘Other’ may operate according to a system of logic different from hers. This mental framework allows her to quickly assimilate the Oankali’s strange customs and way of life into her understanding of her new reality.

When Jdahya tells Lilith that his relative cured her cancer in a manner unknown to human science, she quickly accepts it. “Is that how you cure cancer among yourselves?” Jdahya replies, “We don’t get them.” And then she sighs, saying “I wish we didn’t.”

Lilith also accepts that the Oankali are capable of manipulating genes and body chemistry in unfathomable ways. When she finds out that her captors have fortified her immune system, and “increased [her] resistance to disease in general,” she not only accepts it as possible without a second thought, but understands why they would do it. She cites our own practices in animal husbandry: “We used to treat animals that way…We did things to them—inoculations, surgery, isolation—all for their own good” (pp. 32-33).

Even the Oankali’s household arrangement is not too alien. Jdahya lives with his “wife” (as Lilith calls her) and their child. With the exception of Jdahya’s ooloi mate, Kahguyaht, it’s almost a nuclear family. But this is no stranger than some living arrangements among human populations. (It’s not just the Dinso that live this way either. The Toaht also live in small family units.)

For everything that the Oankali have subjected Lilith to thus far—imprisonment, isolation, interrogation, nonconsensual surgery—she’s found the human equivalent to make some sense of it (for more on this check out Brandon’s excellent post). And even when there is no analog, she merely accepts it as true. For instance, she easily believes that the massive ship is a living thing. Pseudotrees that can be manipulated–cabinets and rooms created at will–at the touch of a finger? OK, accept.  Suspended animation through a once carnivorous plant that’s been genetically modified not to digest its prey? Sure, why not.

But there is one thing about the Oankali that is just too alien for her to accept.

The trade. The Oankali’s raison d’être—their reason for being.

Jdahya explains, “Your people will change. Your young will be more like us and ours more like you…That’s part of the trade.” Lilith is alarmed: “What will you make of us? What will our children be?”
When he responds that they’ll be “Different, as I said. Not quite like you. A little like us,” Lilith freaks out. She is categorically opposed to the “trade,” no matter what it means to the Oankali.

“No! No. I don’t care what you do with what you’ve already learned—how you apply it to yourselves—but leave us out of it. Just let us go. If we have the problem you think we do, let us work it out as human beings.”
“We are committed to the trade.”
“No! You’ll finish what the war began. In a few generations—“
“One generation.”

When Jdahya offers to kill her, she almost goes through with it.

Of all the things that are alien to Lilith, the thought of human-Oankali hybrids is too much for her to bear. In this class we’ve talked about the fear of having our boundaries breached, penetrated, and violated. Well, having radically alien DNA inseminated into our gene pool is a violation of another order. I think that explains her gut-level reaction. Cultural relativity, one of anthropology’s central tenets, is the principle that one should suspend judgement to look at an act from the native’s point of view. 

For Lilith, however, it seems the “trade” is something no amount of cultural relativity can overcome.

Uncanny Canine

This is BigDog, a robot designed to carry heavy loads over rough terrain.

It’s…grotesque. The way it tries to balance itself (at the 0:35 and 1:25 second marks) is truly uncanny—recognizable but repulsively strange at the same time.

The buzzing, the stilted gait, and the lack of a head is a little creepy. It’s as if a fly, a dog, and a motor all got scrambled in the same telepod à la Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.

It’s just nuts and bolts, yet I can’t help but have a visceral revulsion to it.

It’s just uncanny.

Comment on “Man’s New Best Friend”

This post is the comment posted in response to Rich Borean’s post.

Why rats? Good question. The creators could have just as easily used a cuter creature like the hamster, which would have heightened for the reader the emotional impact (i.e. empathy towards the animal and fury at the scientists) that p.25 is meant to evoke. However, rats make a better choice later on because they become the enemy to WE3. Since many people seem to have a natural antipathy toward rats, Morrison and Quitely might have decided that readers would feel less bad when the protagonists have to slaughter them on pp 60-63. Had Bandit chomped through a cute hamster on page 60, he might have come across as more brutal than he is meant to be.

So I think it’s a combination of things. First, as you said, rats are the go-to test subjects. And second, they make good antagonists.

Your question about the game controller is very interesting. I think of it first and foremost as a thinly veiled reference to the Predator drones that the CIA and Air Force use in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. We are increasingly using robots to fight our wars. They are seen by Washington and the Pentagon as a win-win proposition–our people don’t get in harms way and the American taxpayer saves money (on health care costs, not having to use multibillion dollar jets, etc.). But as with any new technology, there is collateral damage. In the case of drones, bad information leads to errant airstrikes on civilians.
Technology always has unintended consequences; sometimes, one meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it (that line’s from Kung Fu Panda btw).

Aside from the military, the controller might also represent a more general trend in our society in which we increasingly become more distant from each other and from real things. Instead we interact with representations of people and other real things, mostly through a screen. And instead of acting with our whole body, we act through an input device like a keyboard, or a mouse, or a video game controller. So the controller might also symbolize the severed connection between people and (old notions of) reality.

Psyched about WE3

Matthew Miller makes a fascinating connection between WE3 and Freudian psychology here.

Grant Morrison is pretty big into psychology.  I had a friend tell me about his use of Jungian psychology or something along those lines in his comics…The three main characters can somewhat be ascribed to the Freudian ideas of the id, ego, and superego.

I’m not sure about Freud, but I did notice a tenuous link between WE3 and Carl Jung. On page 50 of WE3 one of the small insets has a soldier’s helmet with a peace symbol drawn on it.

It’s not unlike the image made famous by the theatrical release poster for Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Whenever Jung’s name is invoked, I think of this movie. More specifically, this scene:


Is it mere coincidence that Morrison and Quitely chose to use that image? Or is it an “easter egg” reference to FMJ and hence “the duality of man”?

The Molly Millions Mystique: The case for MM as feminist symbol

In her book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan argued that women were expected to “find fulfillment only in sexual passivity, male domination, and nurturing maternal love” (2001, p. 92). This view was perpetuated by “stories and articles that showed women as either happy housewives or unhappy, neurotic careerists, thus creating the ‘feminine mystique’” (“Feminine Mystique”). Friedan sought to dismantle such notions.

For women to achieve self-actualization, she argued, they would have to find meaning outside of the domestic sphere. Although Friedan probably wouldn’t have condoned murder, Molly has constructed a meaningful identity for herself while emphatically upending the “feminine mystique” in her job as a bodyguard/mercenary. I believe this makes her a feminist symbol.

In this post, I want to make the case that Gibson has dropped clues to indicate that he intended Molly to be a symbol of female empowerment. Actually, much of what I’m about to say is just a summary of all the great points that everyone has made during class discussions about her. Of those points, I want to focus on the most salient: Molly’s features and her interactions with Riviera.

It’s all in the eyes

The feature that sets Molly apart are the silver glasses surgically grafted onto her skin. Many people said that her lenses denied outsiders access to her emotions and closed the “windows to her soul.” They’re basically her mirrorshades which, as Bruce Sterling explains, “prevent the forces of normalcy from realizing that one is crazed and possibly dangerous” (ix). They give Molly an air of mystery and danger–both of which are warranted by her actions.

In short, she’s cool, detached, and positively lethal. These are all traditionally masculine characteristics. Gibson even turns a potentially vulnerable and feminine act (crying) into an aggressive act of contempt, thus endowing her with a sort of vulgar masculinity.

So isn’t occupying a traditionally male role (e.g. the killer body guard) empowering or even feminist? Or is she just a femme fatale?

I don’t think she is.

Wikipedia defines a femme fatale as “a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations” (Dellamora).

Although Molly uses sex to get what she wants, she doesn’t do it in a way that would qualify her as a femme fatale. She makes a calculated decision to sell her body as a puppet so that she can afford the modifications (namely, the lenses, razors, and enhanced reflexes) that will allow her to pursue a fulfilling career. Although in both cases, the men are a means to an end, Molly does not use seduction or charm to entice her johns or cause them harm. Whereas femme fatales use their sexuality to seduce, trap, and injure their prey, for Molly sex and murder are two separate transactions; they are mutually exclusive.

While she might not fit the FF bill, on Twitter, JuliaDouglas2 and sep451 suggested that her sexuality makes the status of Molly’s empowerment uncertain one way or the other.

But I think there is evidence in the text that she is supposed to be a symbol of female empowerment. The class discussion touched on the interactions between Molly and Riviera as possible proof that she is indeed a feminist symbol, but the verdict was still inconclusive. I’d like to restate the case here with some thoughts of my own.

Kicking male hegemony in the groin

I see the tension between Molly and Riviera (and to a some extent, Terzibashjian) as a metaphoric struggle between feminism and hegemonic masculinity.

Molly hates Riviera from the beginning. Describing him to Case, she says, “he’s one sick fuck, no lie. I saw his profile” (p. 51). She hasn’t even met him yet, so she seems to hate the very idea of him. Sure he’s a sadist, but Molly seems to have little compunction about inflicting a generous amount of pain herself. I think the way he uses women was just as much a factor in Molly’s distaste for Riviera.

Also, consider where Gibson has us find Riviera: Turkey. It’s a country on the border on many fronts: east and west, tradition and modernity. Istanbul, then Constantinople, once served as the capital of the Roman Empire.  I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine Gibson deliberately did this to set up a battle between the old (patriarchy) and the new (postgender). Representing the old ways of thinking is Terzibashjian, who immediately takes issue with Molly’s show of power. Upon meeting Molly and her twin set of lenses he says, “In Turkey there is disapproval of women who sport such modifications” (p. 85). She responds by shoving her gun “centimeters from his lips” (emphasis mine, p. 86). He stands down.

A few moments later, he musters another stiff jab in her direction, “In Turkey, women are still women. This one…” (p. 87), only to come up blank. Finn shoots back, “She’d have you wearing your balls for a bow tie if you looked at her cross-eyed” (p. 87).

I think this alone speaks volumes about Gibson’s intent as far as Molly’s empowerment is concerned. But let’s return to the battle between Molly and Riviera. He proves to be a much harder opponent, but falls flaccid in the end.

Riviera first embarrasses her at the Vingtieme Siecle with his show “The Doll,” which, as Prof. Sample and other students astutely pointed out, represented the objectification of women in SF in particular and in society at large. Molly resents being portrayed as a pliable, sexual object–one aspect of the feminine mystique–and runs away. (Of course, given her history as a puppet Riviera’s show hits her especially hard. But I think we can also look at the show more generally as objectifying all women.)

Prof. Sample also pointed out that later in the book, one of Riviera’s holograms depict Molly as a caricature of the femme fatale. Gibson also rejects this through Molly who “kicked at something between the feet of the holo-Molly” and made the figures disappear (p. 202). Riviera taunts Molly repeatedly throughout the novel, but she has the last laugh by poisoning him.

Gibson disabuses any reader of the “feminine mystique” trope by having such a strong (yet slightly vulnerable) female anchoring his main protagonist, Case. She is a feminist symbol because she lives her life the way she wants to and doesn’t let any man get in her way. She’s had a hard life but doesn’t wallow in self-pity. She’s confident and largely self-sufficient. That’s empowerment. And that’s just the way Gibson has her wired.

Works Cited
-Dellamora, Richard. “Femme Fatale.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femme_fatale.
-“The Feminine Mystique.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Oct. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feminine_Mystique.
-Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: Norton, 2001. Print

Artwork and Pictures Used