Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog 5,1

Jacob Pavlovich
Blog 5, prompt 1
Thursday 2/23/2012

Molly, to the naked eye, is in no way a feminist character, but simply a clever female character who is an expert in her field of expertise. However if we really look into the novel, and analyze it more, we find that everything about her points to a subtle feminist character.

The first thing we must consider about Molly is where she is ‘born’. She described her beginning, when she first started out, by saying “Renting the goods, is all” (p.147). She was selling herself as a dummy prostitute, for what seemed “like free money.” (p.147). Unfortunately for her things started to go wrong, and she started to “bad dreams. Real ones” (p.148). She woke up in the middle of one of her jobs, and found herself face to face with a “senator…both [him and her] covered with blood” and this is exactly what pushed her over the edge (p. 148). This was the one thing that counted as her “women’s experience…[a] sexual violation” (Haraway p.159). It is clear that this was her defining moment as of right now, because when Riviera was performing his show, he “hit a nerve” in her (p.149). For another part of this feministic view of her is “the self-knowledge of a self-who-is-not” (Haraway p.159). She realized back then she was not just some puppet for people to have their fun with, even if it was “free money” (p.147). She once again found this self-knowledge when she went to the Lower level cubicles after Riviera’s show. She tells Case her story, but in a sense we can see this as her telling herself the story of her ‘beginning’. When you really need to get something off your chest, it doesn’t matter who you tell because you are saying it because you need your ears to hear it for themselves. This makes you actually realize how much this has affected you.

The rest of her feminism can be found in her actions and how she is not reliant on a man for anything in her life. The closest thing that she is, in anyway, reliant on is Wintermute, and that is because it gave her a job. In fact, the man in the novel, Case, was heavily dependent upon her. This is interesting, because it adds another level to her feminism; she realizes this and is almost taking care of him at certain points. Showing her disapproval of Case when he went out to grab drugs, she exasperatedly says “I let you out of my sight for two hours and you score.” (p. 135). She is in charge of him and acts like a disappointed parental figure in this page of the book. “She shook her head. ‘I hope you’re gonna be ready for our big dinner date’ “ (p.135). Taking care of him is going to be a struggle but with this approach, she is playing on his feelings for her that are evidently there.

The other part of this was her lack of dependence upon men. This can be seen clearly in the last chapter of the novel. The first sentence of the final chapter is, “She was gone”, followed by a letter that she left him in which she states that she is “wired I guess” (p267). This points directly to her feminism that she can’t just settle down with a man, for she is too driven, the thing that was created, within her, back with the senator was propelling her forward to be on her own and to stay driven to become her own woman. She left in the night, when he was asleep, for “he never saw Molly again” (p. 271). This could be explained by even though she has a drive to be alone and do her own thing, she still had some feelings for him and couldn’t see to hurt him by leaving him.


Margaret Julian said...

I think this is a valid argument, but I also think she is reliant on men. She finds work by working for men. She could only acquire her "special abilities" by allowing men to use her for sex. She is ultimately a product of a male dominated society. She may be protective and act as a caretaker toward Case, but that is inherently something we see mothers do all of the time, even if she isn't particularly motherly.

Adam said...

Your second paragraph is really dense: you are engaged with Molly's history and self-knowledge, along with her relationship with Riviera. I honestly think that this paragraph is more like a compacted version of 3-4 paragraphs (each of which might contain elaboration and additional examples) - you cover a lot fo interesting ground her, but you don't *cover* it, really - this is more of a set of starting points.

In the third paragraph, you are arguably demonstrating a way in which Molly does fall into a conventional gender role, even if we don't appreciate that usually. Good, and yet I'm not sure that you realize that you're doing it, and that in you're in danger of contradicting the rest of your argument.

The overall issue here is that each paragraph is a seperate idea or set of ideas. I think very highly of what you're up to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, but because of teh lack of transitions and development, you're not really making it all work together. You need a single argument (at least a tentative one) that flows throughout the essay. Good material isn't enough - you need to structure and develop that good material.

Note Margaret's discussion of Molly-as-caretaker, too