Analysis Of "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"

900 words - 4 pages

Close writing assignment

Within James Tiptree Jr’s short story, The Girl Who was Plugged in, there is very little description of the two main characters, P-Burke and Delphi, other then that of their physical appearance, yet with such information, each character is easily described as being, or not being a girl. To describe anyone as such, one must fully understand the concept of girl, but what is a ‘girl’? The concept of girl, as made out in Tiptree’s story, describes girl not only as one who is robotic, not in the sense of screws and metal parts, but one who is both controlled by others to do what society as a whole wants, and who has a desirable physical appearance. The concept of ...view middle of the document...

P-Burke, though the controller of Delphi’s mind and of Delphi’s actions, is not who controls her completely, as it is society who controls her by shaping Mr. Cantle and Dr Telsa’s intentions, who control P-Burke and Delphi directly, thus making Delphi unreal, which further proves Tiptree’s concept of ‘girl’ unreal.
At the same time, Delphi is not a complete robot, Delphi may be “89 pounds of tender girl flesh and blood with a few metallic components”(555) but Delphi’s ‘inner self’ is P-Burke’s very mind. Everything except for Delphi’s physical body originated from P-Burke, even her name came from “Burke’s ‘P’ which stands for Philadelphia…”(552). Robots aren’t made to have feelings, but by placing her consciousness into Delphi’s body, P-Burke enables her feelings to become Delphi’s. Everything anyone can see beyond Delphi’s model exterior is P-Burke. This appears to give Delphi a sense of free will, making her appear genuine, but her ‘free will’ comes from P-Burke and is very limited as Delphi’s actions are still controlled by society limiting her freedom, and that free will is what ultimately brings Delphi’s downfall upon herself.
P-Burke falls in love with Paul while being in Delphi’s body and Paul falls in love with ‘Delphi’ without the knowledge that Delphi is something created for an ulterior motive, this being called the “Burke Project”(552),...

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