case 1. An instance or exemplification of the existence or occurence of something. 2. An occurence of disease or disorder. 3. A set of circumstances or state of affairs; the situation.
CASE STUDY; ON NEUROMANCER
case 1. A container or receptacle.
Case strongly resembles our hero from Camus', The Stranger in his passivity and indifference. Neuromancer shows that the freedom of such a character to act, and to take responsibility for actions decreases as technology is refined in a future which continues to look at control as the matter of importance.
Speed counteracts Case's tendency to sink into a motionless, bottomless pit of existence with a drive for action. Technology makes his feminine characteristics more accessible to him, and useful, such as with sim-stin, which allows him to virtually exist inside of Molly, and to feel with her while she acts and he remains still - her pain, her bodily functions, possibly his own lust when she whimsically grabs her breast for him, but mostly it is another's sensual world which he is able to ride with this tool.
When Case jacks into one of the most revealing experiences of his character in this story, we're given the following monologue from Ratz, his super-ego/bartender:
"Really, my artiste, you amaze me. The lengths you will go to in order to accomplish your own destruction. The redundancy of it. In Night City you had it, in the palm of your hand! The speed to eat your sense away, drink to keep it all so fluid, Linda for a sweeter sorrow, and the street to hold the axe."
Linda - he finds her ghost later during the same hallucination - she is the past and a life-time worth of guilt to him. Case says, "Mean mother-fucker," to the program, the wind in the program, "Don't take any chances, do you? Wouldn't give me a junkie, huh? I know what this is..."
But he did speak to Linda eventually, and then he stayed with her for days in simulated time - in dream-time. As a re-introduction, he said, "Listen, I got a question for you. I won't ask you what you're doing here. But what exactly do you think I'm doing here?"
"'You came last night,' she said. She smiled at him.
'And that's enough for you. I just came?'
'He said you would,' she said, wrinkling her nose. She shrugged. 'He knows stuff like that, I guess.'"
This program, this Linda is the mockery of innocense which he embraces and eventually leaves behind, only after speaking with the Master of Ceremonies, the Brazilian boy, Neuromancer. Case gives Linda his jacket, first. He says, "I don't know, maybe you're here. Anyway, it gets cold."
He was never pleased by his own sentimentality, which was always rare, fleeting, virtually ignored, but he was pleased to discover within himself the capacity for anger. When did it take shape? After he heard this monologue given by another face from his past on a screen - "What's it matter, though? How much does it really matter to Mr. Case? Quit kidding yourself. I know your Linda, man. I know all the Lindas. Lindas are a generic product in my line of work. Know why she decided to rip you off? Love. So you'd give a shit. Love? Wanna talk love? She loved you. I know that. For the little she was worth, she loved you. You couldn't handle it. She's dead." Funny the computer used the image of a pimp to deliver that blow, but anyway, he "savored" his rage from that point, and missed it when it was gone.
This anger drove him to track Molly down, the woman of his present life, the razor-girl, and this against orders, against his character profile. It was an act of passion rather than of survival. He was pissed and he wanted to know what was going on.
She was in a cubicle. He found it -
"She seemed to hit him, somehow, before he'd actually gotten the door open. He was on his knees, the steel door against his back, the blades of her rigid thumbs quivering centimeters from his eyes..."
This act of his is reminiscent of the murder of the Arab in The Stranger in that it was of pure violence, curiosity. The major difference between these acts is largely in the results - The Stranger's course was defined by the murder; with Case it was nearly insignificant but on a personal level - and this only perhaps - because when the work was done Molly was gone, never to be seen by Case again. She opened up to him about her past, but that was all - I don't believe his tracking her down that night made any other difference between them proffesionally or personally.
In the end she wrote: "HEY ITS OKAY BUT ITS TAKING THE EDGE OFF MY GAME, I PAID THE BILL ALREADY. ITS THE WAY I'M WIRED I GUESS, WATCH YOUR ASS OKAY? XXX MOLLY". Sorry, 'bye.