Johnny Mnemonic

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY INFLUENCE HUMAN IDENTITY? In the short story "Johnny Mnemonic", technology influences the body in many ways. Since, this story takes place in the future, it's common for many individuals to have alterations done on their body for personal reasons. Individuals whom I will be discussing are Johnny Mnemonic, Lewis, and Molly Millions.

First of all, in the short story "Johnny Mnemonic", using technology to influence the human body is very common. Johnny has in fact had his face changed in order to disguise himself before he went to his meeting at the Drome. This shows how technology influences the human body because this technological procedure that the girls of Under The Knife performed, changed Johnny's appearance just for one evening. Johnny did not change his appearance because he was burnt, bruised, or scarred. But Johnny changed his face for pleasure. No one forced him to make changes on his face but he did it anyways.

In this world, surgelogical procedures are done quite often mostly everyday. Therefore, when Johnny does this it isn't uncommon.

Another individual in "Johnny Mnemonic" who used technology to influence the human body is Lewis. Lewis is a bodyguard for Ralfi but, he wasn't originally strong and built like that all his life. Lewis went under surgery to have muscles grafted onto his body to look stronger and fit the profession of a bodyguard. In Lewis's case this shows how technology influences the body because without technology there would have been no possible way that he would've become muscular. Maybe without technology he wouldn't even have been able to get a job as a bodyguard. Though technology, in his mind, changed his life for the better.

The next individual whom technology influenced her body is Molly Millions. Molly Millions has blades implanted into her fingers. This shows how technology influences the body because Molly actually uses these blades to protect herself. If she didn't have these blades implanted in her fingers, then when Lewis raised his hand to slap her, she wouldn't have been able to stop him. She is able to stop him because, she cuts Lewis's hands with her blades and he starts bleeding badly. In this case, she used technology for pleasure but technology also gave her an advantage. The advantage that technology gave her is that she now has skills with her hands that other human beings don't.

Technology is used for many different things in today's world. Though in many of Gibson's short stories and novels technology is used to enhance a protagonist or antagonist's power, strength, or abilities. "Johnny Mnemonic" is an example of how Gibson predicts the future in which he thinks technology will evolve into.