Cyborgian Virtual: Hybrid Subjectivity in William Gibson’s The Peripheral

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate in English Literature, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Parand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of English Education, Abhar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abhar, Iran.


The purpose of the research is to analyze how the cyborgian theories of virtual subjectivity, dromology, enfleshed materialism, aesthetics of disappearance, hybridity and metamorphic becoming are employed by modern technology to create humanoid. Gibson’s The Peripheral delineates multiple subjectivities as well as challenges of virtual creatures through tracing the life of Flynne, the major protagonist. We are to grasp humanoid’s beyond human ‘nature’, or ‘character’, or ‘being’, or ‘transitive identity’ in a way that corresponds with other human beings. The research portrays the subjective sense of being-in-the-virtual-world and analyzes the humanoid’s development in the form of a cyborgian human simulation. Donna Haraway, Paul Virilio and Rosi Braidotti are the selected theorists introducing the theory of the research; cyborg; an umbrella term referring to cybernetic organisms. Cyborgian literary theory focuses on the author who identifies the fictional subject as a new creature, which is partly inorganic and partly machine, to demonstrate that technology does not need to be dehumanizing; rather, it acts as a re-humanizing force to claim agency over our subjectivity. The peculiar thematic characteristics of the novel as an epitome of cyborg narrative, including non-linear apocalyptic time traveling narrative, fragmentation of subjectivity, formation of transhumans and constructed humanoids, are analyzed.


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