Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley Character Analysis

A console cowboy and former friend of Case’s. In the text he is referred to alternately by his first name, last name, and both of his middle names. He is nicknamed Flatline because he once famously flatlined when trying to crack Neuromancer’s ice (although he did not know it was Neuromancer at the time). Dixie died before the novel began, but his construct is housed in a Sense/Net library, which Case, Molly, and Armitage extract. Dixie’s construct then helps Case on his mission, recovering information about Armitage/Corto and using a virus to break through Tessier-Ashpool’s defenses. Dixie’s construct has a laugh that grates on Case—not quite human, it’s a reminder that the real Dixie is dead. Still, Dixie’s construct begs to be deleted after the mission is over. Alive or not, he doesn’t want to be trapped in the matrix forever.

McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley Quotes in Neuromancer

The Neuromancer quotes below are all either spoken by McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley or refer to McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Neuromancer published in 1984.
Chapter 5 Quotes

He coughed. “Dix? McCoy? That you man?” His throat was tight.

“Hey, bro,” said a directionless voice.

“It’s Case, man. Remember?”

“Miami, joeboy, quick study.”

“What’s the last thing you remember before I spoke to you, Dix?”

“Nothin’.”

“Hang on.”

He disconnected the construct. The presence was gone. He reconnected it. “Dix? Who am I?”

“You got me hung, Jack. Who the fuck are you?”

“Ca—your buddy. Partner. What’s happening, man?”

“Good question.”

“Remember being here, a second ago?”

“No.”

“Know how a ROM personality matrix works?”

“Sure, bro, it’s a firmware construct.”

“So I jack it into the bank I’m using, I can give it sequential, real time memory?”

“Guess so,” said the construct.

“Okay, Dix. You are a ROM construct. Got me?”

“If you say so,” said the construct. “Who are you?”

“Case.”

“Miami,” said the voice, “joeboy, quick study.”

“Right. And for starts, Dix, you and me, we’re gonna sleaze over to London grid and access a little data. You game for that?”

“You gonna tell me I got a choice, boy?”

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Real motive problem, with an AI. Not human, see?”

“Well, yeah, obviously.”

“Nope. I mean, it’s not human. And you can’t get a handle on it. Me, I’m not human either, but I respond like one. See?”

“Wait a sec,” Case said. “Are you sentient, or not?”

“Well, it feels like I am, kid, but I’m really just a bunch of ROM. It’s one of them, ah, philosophical questions, I guess...” The ugly laughter sensation rattled down Case’s spine. “But I ain’t likely to write you no poem, if you follow me. Your AI, it just might. But it ain’t no way human.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley (speaker), Wintermute
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Neuromancer LitChart as a printable PDF.
Neuromancer PDF

McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley Character Timeline in Neuromancer

The timeline below shows where the character McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley appears in Neuromancer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...had a look at their to-do list; their next mission is stealing a construct of Dixie Flatline from the company Sense/Net to help their with their next mission. Although she’s working... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...will have better luck. Case wonders what else is on the to-do list, other than Dixie. Molly says Peter Riviera, who is a “real ugly customer,” according to his profile. Molly... (full context)
Chapter 4
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...has hacked the Sense/Net ice, Molly must go in and grab the physical disk housing Dixie’s construct. They’re working with the Panther Modern’s purchased assistance. Case, back in his loft, needs... (full context)
Chapter 5
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
...for Freeside, with a T-A logo in the bottom corner. As he walks, he considers Dixie, remembering how they met in a bar when he was nineteen, when Dixie had chosen... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Back in the loft, Case turns on the Hosaka and connects the construct. Dixie exists as a mental presence “exactly the sensation of someone reading over your shoulder.” Case... (full context)
Chapter 6
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Together Case and Dixie access Armitage’s data. Dixie scans the files, reporting they’re mostly “video recordings of postwar military... (full context)
Chapter 7
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
...him to talk to Wintermute. Case says it’s impossible, but she tells him to get the Flatline to help. (full context)
Chapter 8
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case greets Dixie and asks him how he’s doing. Dixie responds that he’s dead, and that nothing bothers... (full context)
Chapter 9
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...reached out to him in Istanbul. Molly tells him to jack in and talk to Dixie. Although suffering from SAS, Case obeys. (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case asks Dixie if he’s ever tried to crack an AI. Dixie has—the first time he flatlined, he... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Although nervous that he’ll meet the same fate as his mentor, Case asks Dixie to help him investigate Wintermute. Together they travel through cyberspace to the Zurich commercial banking... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
A gray face appears on the front of the cube, and Dixie tells Case to back off; he reverses, but the cube follows him. Dixie tells him... (full context)
Chapter 10
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case jacks in to talk to Dixie. He lays out what he knows—that Wintermute and the Rio AI connect through Straylight somehow,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case returns to his empty hotel room and calls Maelcum, asking to be connected to Dixie. Speaking through the Hosaka voice chip, Case notices the Dixie’s “carefully engineered accent [is] lost... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
...as Wintermute’s work. Lonny Zone’s image appears and begins to talk, warning him that having Dixie search for Molly is “Ringing bells all over Freeside.” Zone/Wintermute admits he’s surprised, since his... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...glass and Zone/Wintermute disappears, first warning him not to hurt his hands. On the phone, Dixie calls out to Case. He has an address for Molly. (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...Case finds Bruce and Cath and pressures them into helping him find Molly. The address Dixie gave him is for a cubicle in the basement of a nightclub. He has to... (full context)
Chapter 14
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...he enters the ship, and announces the ghost is asking for him. Case jacks in. Dixie tells him the Hosaka has been plugged into Armitage’s boat as well. He also tells... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Back in the matrix, Dixie explains the virus to Case. It’s a slow virus, so slow the ice won’t even... (full context)
Chapter 15
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Back in the matrix, Dixie tells Case he was brain-dead for five seconds. Unconcerned, Case switches to Molly’s simstim. Wintermute... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case flips to the matrix, watching Kuang grow. Case tells Dixie he was right—Wintermute is kept under control by a manual override, the robotic head from... (full context)
Chapter 16
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Dixie connects Case to Armitage, who is phoning in from the ship next door. Armitage looks... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
A message flashes in the corner of Molly’s vision for Case from Dixie. He explains General Girling trained Corto for Screaming Fist, and that Wintermute has been appearing... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
In the matrix, Dixie tells Case that Armitage/Corto wiped his Hosaka, almost wiping Dixie and Case’s computer as well. ... (full context)
Chapter 17
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Back in the matrix, Case watches Kuang expand and tells Dixie that Wintermute killed Armitage—ejecting him into space with his hatch open. Case is worried because... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case flips to the matrix. Dixie tells him Kuang is working well. As they talk, the Finn/Wintermute appears in the distance,... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
The Finn/Wintermute complains that humans are “a pain.” He understands Dixie and constructs like him, who act predictable, but struggles to predict human’s inherently unpredictable behavior,... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
As The Finn/Wintermute turns and walks away, Dixie calls out to him. He wants to make sure he, like Case, gets his payoff.... (full context)
Chapter 18
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...jacks out. Maelcum, will bring a gun to Straylight, just in case. Case checks on Dixie, who tells him the virus has made good progress. Case explains the plan: move the... (full context)
Chapter 19
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case and Maelcum enter the Villa Straylight. Case carries Dixie’s construct and his computer as he climbs up a long ladder to a closed hatch.... (full context)
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...a closet. Meanwhile, Case plugs his deck into the wall, and jacks into the matrix. Dixie greets him, and jokes that it’s been a while (although, for him, no time has... (full context)
Chapter 23
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...Straylight’s central room, which houses the robotic head. Case jacks into the matrix, and greets Dixie. The Kuang is ready. It’s almost like a small airplane, and Case and Dixie climb... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...the beach. Neuromancer tells Case to flip. Before he goes, Case asks what happened to Dixie, and Neuromancer tells him Dixie got his wish “and more.” (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...jacks in. He rides Kuang above a neon city, T-A’s data. He calls out for Dixie, who doesn’t respond. Wintermute calls out to Case in the Finn’s voice, reminding him that... (full context)
Chapter 24
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...himself. In the background he hears “the laugh that wasn’t laughter,” which likely belongs to Dixie. (full context)