My understanding of ‘the matrix’
When Henry Dorset Case’s boss wanted to punish him, he used ‘mycotoxin’ to damage his central nervous system such that he became unable to access the global computer network creating a virtual reality database known as the matrix. In the epilogue, it is revealed that while he is the matrix, Case hears inhuman laughter, a character mostly linked with Pauley- this suggested that Pauley was released from the construct so that he can exist in the matrix. In addition, Case can log into the matrix when he wants to. In the matrix, Case’s consciousness exists with that of dead girlfriend and they will exist together forever. From the above information denoted from the book, the matrix is like a virtual world whereby the people live forever in the same state they are in. the people do not grow old or get sick. The matrix is a cyberspace like the one generated by computers. It is like a website whereby information is stored; the information does not expire, does not grow old and it can be retrieved any time. However, the main difference between the matrix and the computer cyberspace is that in the computerized cyberspace, only videos, images and data can be stored while in the matrix, a person’s consciousness can enter into it and live like people do in the actual world. Conclusively, I understand that the matrix is a world within a world that cannot accommodate the human body but the human consciousness. People who are taken into the matrix cannot carry their flesh along but only their minds and cognizance (Gibson, 1984).
The discussion of the human body as mere ‘meat’
According to the novel, the human body is depicted as mere ‘meat’ that can be disposed of when a person feels like. This is first seen when Case’s employer uses a toxin to damage his body and control his consciousness in the matrix. Through this act, it is shown that the body is a disposable item and only the mind is significant. In the book, it is written, “he’d operated on almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacking into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodies consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix” (Gibson, 1.24). The matrix was a consensual hallucination that only holds the consciousness and not the physical body. Secondly, in the matrix, Case reunites with Linda, his dead girlfriend. This implies that although Linda is dead and buried and her body turned into waste, her consciousness is still alive and kicking in the matrix. Linda’s body has been depicted as mere meat that is disposable. Lastly, when Case is damaged by the toxins, his organs were destroyed. Destruction of his body meant that case could no longer use drugs (cocaine among others) of which he was addicted to. When Case cleared his name and won the fight he and Molly, his savior, were fighting, he craved to get back to his old behaviors of substance abuse. As a result, he decided to get rid of his deteriorated organs and get new organs that will allow to keep engaging in drug abuse. This act showed that, Gibson regarded to the human body as a piece of meat that can be used and gotten rid of. Lastly, Deanne alters his DNA to change himself into a younger looking man, “…primary hedge against aging was a yearly pilgrimage to Tokyo, where genetic surgeons reset the code of his DNA.” (Gibson, 1.77) When a person grows old, they can convert back their body into younger selves proving that the flesh of humans is mere meat. In conclusion, a body is just a piece of meat and only the consciousness matters (Gibson, 1984).
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Gibson, W. (1984). Neuromancer. New York: Ace books