Many works of science fiction from the fifties suggested that through technological innovation humanity would overcome its tendencies toward violence and war. Neuromancer is written as a countermeasure to this idea. Violence runs red in these futuristic streets. In Chiba City, violence is so rampant that no one seems to care anymore. Assassins and ninjas kill without remorse or second thought. The Panther Moderns create a riot just so Case and Molly can steal a ROM construct. Even computer systems can cause brain death if you aren't careful. It's as if the book is saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Right?
Questions About Violence
- Riviera and Molly are both people with violent tendencies. How are their violent tendencies different? How are they the same? What makes Molly the "good guy" in this story?
- Why do you think it was important to the story to have computers physically injure people? What purpose does it serve to our understanding of violence in Neuromancer?
- In what settings do we see the most violence? Where do we see the least or no violence? What's the difference between these settings?
Chew on This
It is not technology but the creation of large urban areas that is responsible for most of the violence in Neuromancer.
Violence is not always immoral in Neuromancer. Instead, the reason for the violence determines whether it is right or wrong.