Agents or Pawns? Power Relations in William Gibson’s Bigend Trilogy

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Sammanfattning

The article explores power relations, resistance, and agency in William
Gibson's Bigend Trilogy, his three latest novels to date. It analyzes Gibson's
protagonists through Michel Foucault's observations on power. In the Bigend
Trilogy, power relations between free individuals are turned into relations of
constraint by various agents, most importantly by the advertising magnate Hubertus Bigend. Furthermore, Foucault's principle of the Panopticon is applied through modern surveillance technology, which plays a prominent role in the novels, to manipulate power relations.

Such manipulations lead to resistance in Gibson's protagonists who try to retain their agency in a world order that strives to dominate them. The characters appear as versions of John G. Cawelti's Western heroes and villains on the border between progressive order and independent chaos. The protagonists are not, in the end, invested in defeating schemes to dominate global power relations, but those that threaten their personal integrity. The article argues against Tom Henthorne's interpretation of the conclusion of the trilogy as dystopian and devoid of choice, claiming that the protagonists do not remain pawns in a game, but succeed in their resistance, emerging as agents on their own terms.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftFafnir: Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research
Volym1
Utgåva1
Sidor (från-till)19-30
Antal sidor12
ISSN2342-2009
StatusPublicerad - 2014
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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