Defining the Cyborg

Essay Option #6

The depiction of humans as cybernetic organisms has been the prevailing theme in multiple texts throughout the term. However, the authors seem to differ in defining the half- human, half-machine organism. I will analyze several movies such as The Matrix and The Stepford Wives, along with multiple articles in The Cybercultures Reader. In doing so, I will contrast how these authors define the cyborg and then I will ultimately bring each piece together to create a true understanding of the cyborg.

Nate Parker

“A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction” (Donna Haraway). Define your interpretation of cyborg using the Deborah Lupton and Donna Haraway articles from The Cybercultures Reader. Then compare the different constructions of the cyborg in at least two texts in this course.

A cyborg can be defined many different ways, using the texts we have read in the Cybercultures Reader, along with Snow Crash and using examples from films we have watched I will define the cyborg as a mixture of human and non human characteristics.  Using the films, The Matrix, The Stepford Wives, and Hackers I will develop a thesis that  embodies the true definition of a cyborg and how they fit into society.

Final Thesis Topic 7

Throughout this course we have analyzed texts that depict different real-virtual world relations. We see our cyber-identities depicted in social media in the movie The Social Network. Race and ethnicity are shown in both our virtual and real world in Snow Crash. In The Matrix questions of cyberfeminism are raised in The Matrix.


As people are becoming further immersed into their technology, the line between the virtual and real world is blurred and humans are seen as machine-like entities. For example, in the novel Snow Crash as humans become integrated into the Metaverse their identities in the real world and the avatars in the virtual world become synonymous. In addition, in the short story “Entrada” the people associate the virtual world as their escape, so they become more and more ingrained in this virtual world to forgo the stresses of everyday life. Finally in the piece “The Embodied Computer/User,” humans are no longer seen in individualistic terms, but are rather identified solely as interchangeable parts.


This essay will argue that virtual worlds are becoming very realistic in nature.  The virtual worlds represented in The Matrix, Snow Crash, and “Trouble and Her Friends” are realistic in nature and show that the stereotypes of the real world are developing in virtual worlds.




The Stepford Wives film concerns sexual oppression in a patriarchal society by showing how liberated women are a threat to the patriarchal order in their outspokenness, persistence, aggressiveness, and goal or career orientation. Women are reduced to objects as their husbands destroy and recreate their bodies addressing the changing role of women in contemporary society as well as apprehensions about technology.


-Samantha Gray

Final Essay Thesis

In texts of the cyberpunk genre, disembodiment is a common theme.  In typical cyberpunk texts, this detachment from the body is seen as a transcendental circumstance.  One in which the mind is able to free itself from the dead meat that is the human body.  Cyberfeminist fiction like the short stories “A Real Girl” and “Trouble and her Friends” re-evaluate the concept of the mind leaving the body through the depictions of cyberspace presented in the short stories.


John Lynch

Thesis of Final Essay

Peter Durkin

Topic #7

As evidenced by society and literary texts, technology is causing the separation between reality and the virtual world to become indivisible. This is made evident by an analysis of the protagonist’s sentiment in the novel Snow Crash in conjunction with the anecdote Entrada and the film Avatar, which demonstrate how the virtual world is becoming interchangeable with the real world. However, by the same token, in Avatar technology enables the virtual to be present and distinguishable in reality where individuals can enter the virtual world and become a different entity, but are observed in the real world. The culture and the obscurity of the virtual world are becoming apparent in the real world.