Cinder|Marissa Meyer

On Cyborgs and where Humanity Ends

This one was a bit of a tough one to write, it deals with racism which is something as a white Australian female I have not experienced. I have tried my hardest to get what I say here to be as close to the truth as possible, so if I cause harm I sincerely apologise. It is not my intent.

So basically the way I understand The Lunar Chronicle Cyborgs is that they are humans who have – by necessity it would seem – been augmented with foreign parts. Cinder has a leg and hand (arm?)  as well as spine and possibly a few others. She is 36% Not Human. We know this because they forced their way into her brain and found out.

The stolen Generation is an entire generation of Indigenous Australians with a (let’s face it) white parent who were forcibly taken from their homes and their culture to be brought up in White Australian Culture and to basically “breed out the colour.” Derogatory comments such as “half-caste” were commonly used to describe these children. Indigenous Australians were not even counted in the census until after the 1967 referendum. (but were not under the flora and fauna act as some myths suggest)

It would seem that, as with the Stolen Generation, people played on the perceived negative end of their identity. Robot with TLC, Indigenous Australian with The Stolen Generation. Which brings me to my next little point:

I postulate that the tech inside the cyborgs has evolved to be more valuable and important than the humans, which is why there is this stripping of Cinders humanity, because the people own the tech, but not necessarily the humans. However, since the human and the tech are one and the same, laws have evolved so much so that they mean the same thing for Cyborgs. They are their tech after all, so the owners of the tech also own the human.

I would also like to look at the difference between amputees with bionic limbs and cyborgs. In theory in TLC, they are one and the same. No one would choose to be a cyborg so bionic limbs and other augmentations are there to assist the person in living their life with ease. be it being able to pick up a cup with a specific hand or walking at all.

A user on SFFworld says that we’re all cyborgs. we use shoes to augment our feet, hearing aids to augment our hearing, glasses for our eyes. And this is an interesting theory for a world as intolerant as TLC world is. If we are all cyborgs, then what is the difference between “cyborg” cyborgs and not-cyborg cyborgs. Their racism plot falls apart and we’re left with the sudden realisation that they are both human. be they 51% foreign or 0%.

Humanity doesn’t end. The only pre-requisite for being “human” is to have the particular strand of DNA that identifies you as such. Perhaps in the future things will be different. But now, in 2016, you’re human if you identify yourself as such. You are human at 0% augmentation and you’re human at 99% augmentation. Despite her antics, Cassandra moisturise-me O’Brien is human. Whether you’ve been grown in a lab or in a womb, you are human.

Be it anti-cyborg racism, homophobia, sexism, or standard, run-of-the-mill racism, it’s 2016, it’s not tolerated any more. Be kind to the people who don’t have your privileges, and be kind to those who do.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.



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