In Marcus’s On Dimensional Man, he makes an argument that due to our technologies literature has changed in terms of ‘disruptive’ characters and their position in society. He states their difference as “perform a function very different from and even contrary to that of their cultural predecessors. They are no longer images of another way of life but rather freaks or types of the same life; serving as an affirmation rather than negation of the established order” (Marcuse 3). However, this statement seems to be an extreme overgeneralization. Even if the characters are culturally different when written in our technological age, its hard to believe that all of them agree with the societal order in life. In Neuromancer, we learn of a character named Case, who during the course of the novel, defies this overgeneralization and has a duality of these two natures, which neutralizes Marcuse’s argument.
In the beginning of the novel, it seems as if Case does not seem as if he is in disagreement with his established place. He is a hustler for a gang community working the drug trade and in his position, he acts and reacts in a common way that does not go against his micro-society, the criminal organization that he interacts and works for. In one segment we learn that he once defied his micro-society when “He’d made the classic mistake… he stole from his employers” ( page 7). Even though he went against his criminal organization, however, he crippled himself in the process which affirmed that his society could defend itself from an intruder on their order. Even when he transitions to the next criminal organization that requires his expertise he doesn't go against the organization, and does what he is told, because again he is forced to due to the fear that there is "mytoxin sacs" that will disperse in his bloodstream if her does not suceed in the group, which forces him to not defy the standards that are presed upon him.
However, due to his position, Case was also going against the grand scheme of his society the entire time, conflicting with Marcuse’s idea that all characters in a novel created in a technologically developed area always have to affirm societal standards. Even as Case changes positions from a hustler in a criminal organization to a “cowboy” in a seemingly smaller criminal organization, and in both cases he is doing illegal things that can get him arrested if he is caught. Even though this criminal type seems to be more prevalent, the reader only sees one part of the society through all of the characters, the part that lies, murders, steals, and does advanced computer hacking. He has even gone against his own morals by,"he'd killed two men and a woman over sum that seem a year before would have seemed ludicrous" (page 8). Even in his criminal associative life, Case was forced to go against his ideals by murdering for small sums of money. This makes Case a 'disruptive' character by Marcuse's standard because he is not affirming societal standards, he is becoming the desitute character that Marcue only believes is in classical literature.
However, when trying to position Case into oe of Marcuse's job titles, it becomes apparent that the two sections converge upon each other to neutralize the argument. In Marcuse’s character selection, Marcuse places, “the criminal… the gangster” into two separate categories in his discussion, the criminal is the former category with the disruption of the societal order and the gangster is in the latter category with the normalacy of the society. In Neuromancer, these two jobs for Case seem to intermingle until they are essentially the same position, in which he affirms and detaches from his society. He is for the most part a gangster, having a drug addiction for many years and hustling other people for cash, and he is a criminal when he transfers over to the other smaller crime ring, which I do not consider a gang due to the fact that they act as a small group, but there is no overarching society that is noticeable and there is not a single reference to a gang. It is more like they are a small band of thieves.
In my honest opinion, this section of Marcuse’s argument in the third chapter is not valid for me. There are many other novels that go against the common themes of society, for instance, Jamie and Ceseri Lannaster in a Song of Ice and Fire series with their incestuous relationship, and two of their children so far have been crowned. However, there are also novels that affirm one’s place in society, which are often seen in cheesy romance novels. These defiance’s of society show the breakaway and issues with society, which are still popular topics in literature, and will most likely never go away.