The Girl Who Was Plugged In Analysis

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In James Tiptree, Jr.’s “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” as well as Greg Egan’s “Learning To Be Me,” the ways in which identity can change along with the how bodies are perceived or not are emphasized. The contrast between the two stories lies in their differences as sub-genres, as Tiptree writes about feminist science fiction and Egan focuses on cyberpunk. Even the ways in which the two main characters are developed in relation to their bodies seem completely unrelated, and yet by comparing them, it becomes clear that the stories are much closer in their messages about the dangers of losing a relationship to the body than they appear at first. Each story illustrates how the body is tied to identity, and that by preferring a different body or by focusing on the mind more, a sense of identity could be fragmented and perhaps lost forever.
Despite the differences in sub-genre between the two stories, both Tiptree and Egan are interested in exploring what can happen when the mind is favored over the
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In “Learning To Be Me,” the narration is set up so that the reader considers their own relationship to their body as shaped by technology while P. Burke’s dilemma sparks an exploration of how society can shape one’s relationship to the body both in and out of cyberspace. P. Burke loses her identity to the artificial body, as she “can no longer clearly recall that she exists apart from Delphi” (Tiptree, 68). Egan’s story reflects mostly on one main character introspectively, while Tiptree explores a view that is of the outside looking in. P. Burke’s preference of an artificial body over her own, as intensified by the people who hire her to do so initially, makes the reader more aware of how the body should not be viewed as separate from identity for the narrator in Egan’s

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