Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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Neuromancer: Chapter 22 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The broken-down service cart sputters back to life and brings Case and Maelcum down the hallway towards 3Jane’s lair. Case tells Maelcum the situation inside: Molly’s incapacitated, Riviera might have Molly’s fletcher and can also throw holograms, and Hideo is an incredibly powerful ninja assassin. Maelcum clarifies he just wants to help Case get Molly out, and Case adds they need to extract 3Jane alive.
Maelcum is less concerned with the overall mission, and more concerned with Molly, whom he has liked since meeting her, partially because of her association to Steppin’ Razor. Case, meanwhile, cares about Molly but still wants to finish their mission.
Themes
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case and Maelcum descend the steps to 3Jane’s room. At first it appears empty, until suddenly one of Hideo’s arrows hits Maelcum in the arm; he falls to the ground. Riviera steps out of the shadows, holding Molly’s fletcher. He’s surprised to see Case, having expected Armitage to come instead.
Riviera often talks about his unpredictability, but in the end is surprised by other characters acting against type, which suggests that he isn’t especially abnormal in his actions, and instead that humans are hard to distill into a single set of predictable behaviors.
Themes
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case realizes that Riviera doesn’t know about Molly’s simstim, although Hideo and 3Jane probably do, having patted her down. Therefore, Hideo and 3Jane know that Case knows they are growing tired of Riviera, whereas Riviera believes he is still in their good graces. Molly and 3Jane also emerge from the shadows, with 3Jane pushing Molly in a wheelchair.
Allegiances are sneakily shifting. 3Jane already seems to prefer Molly to Riviera, and she knows that Case and Maelcum know that, therefore she has subtly aligned herself with them and their mission.
Themes
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
3Jane orders Hideo to help bandage Maelcum’s wound. As Hideo works, Case tells 3Jane they’re running out of time. Riviera tries to interrupt Case’s plea, but 3Jane shuts him down. Case tells her Neuromancer and Wintermute are going against each other tonight. He tells her Neuromancer mentioned Marie-France. This catches 3Jane’s attention, and when Case describes the beach and the bunker, she recognizes it as beach where her mother once spent a summer, formulating her philosophy.
3Jane is interested in violence that incapacitates, but not violence for the sake of violence. This is where she differs from Riviera, with whom she is not as compatible as she thought. 3Jane helps explain the beach world Case was trapped in—it was a construction based on real memories. This also suggests how close Neuromancer felt to Marie-France, that it would construct a world from her mind as a kind of memorial.
Themes
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
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Riviera interrupts them with a shot from the fletcher. Hideo shoots an arrow back at Riviera, who screams in rage, and sends two concentrated beams of life at Hideo that are so powerful, they permanently blind him. Riviera thinks he’s won, but is disturbed when Hideo finds his bow and arrow and begins stalking towards Riviera. 3Jane explains that Hideo relies on his other senses just as much as on sight, and often practiced blindfolded or in the dark. Riviera breaks into a run, and Hideo follows slowly behind.
This is the first time Riviera’s holograms become so powerful they cause real, physical damage. Unfortunately Riviera doesn’t understand who Hideo is, or how highly trained he is at his job. With or without sight, he will be able to track down Riviera and kill him.
Themes
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Maelcum picks up the gun from where he dropped it, pointing it at 3Jane. Molly raises her hands, which are bound, and asks 3Jane to take her restraints off. Case asks 3Jane if Hideo will get Riviera, even blind, and 3Jane affirms that he will. Molly adds that she poisoned Riviera’s drugs, so he’ll be dead in twelve hours regardless.
No one will miss Riviera, whose own vices lead to his own death. He antagonized Molly, who poisoned the drugs he was addicted to, and he antagonized Hideo, who can easily kill him. He bragged his abrasive perversity was his greatest asset, but in reality it was his greatest flaw.
Themes
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Case, Maelcum, Molly, and 3Jane make their way towards the core of Villa Straylight. Maelcum carries Molly, and Case presses the gun against 3Jane’s chin. As their elevator rises, 3Jane tells them she doesn’t have the key to the special room—the door has a physical lock, and they need a physical key. Luckily, Molly has it already.
The issue of physical blockades and locks crops up once again. Luckily, Wintermute knew about this particular door and made plans regarding how to open it for literal decades.
Themes
Technology and the Body Theme Icon