Themes in Snow Crash

One of the major themes in Neal Stephenson’s novel, Snow Crash, is the nature of humanity.  In the novel, there exists two different societies, one real and one virtual.  In the Metaverse, the virtual world, the human controls an avatar.  The human can do pretty much whatever they want to do in this virtual world, which means that they do not have to follow the accepted rules of society.  Humanity, as a result, is falling apart because people adapt their lives in the Metaverse into their real lives.  One of the major examples of the strange nature of humanity presented in the novel is with Ng.  Ng is a security contractor who, in 1974, was caught in a terrible helicopter accident.  He was burned and lost both of his arms and both of his legs.  Ng has the “coolest house in the Metaverse” (222) according to Y.T., yet, in the real world, he lives in a neoprene sack that is filled with “electrocontractive gel” (226).  In the real world, he cannot do anything himself, he is plugged in to his van that he turned into a large wheelchair.  However, in the Metaverse, he can do anything, which he uses to communicate with his clients.  Since all of his communications are done in the Metaverse, nobody really knows that he is basically a cyborg.  Everyone assumes he is a perfectly functioning human being, which shows that the nature of humanity is starting to fall apart because of these virtual realities.

-Sam Rider

2,146 thoughts on “Themes in Snow Crash”

  1. Sam, I agree with your position of the nature of humanity, especially your rationalization that technology and the virtual world of the Meta Verse is causing humans to lose contact with reality and their humanity. I think Stephenson is critiquing the possibilities this virtual world has to negatively impact our own future.

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