In what way is the story of Philadelphia Burke a “paradox?

The 3rd essay is based on James Triptree’s “The Girl Who Was Plugged In.” Please also consult the film version of the story. The film, interestingly, calls the story a “paradox.” In what way is the story of Philadelphia Burke a “paradox?” Well, P. Burke wants to “live”, but in order to live, she must die. The responsibility for the deaths of women like P. Burke rests squarely on the kind of society that she is born into. The futuristic society represented in the story comes out very well as a techno-corporate dystopia in the film version. Clearly, the biggest power bloc in the society are corporations like GTX that is powerful enough to violate state laws. The one law that GTX violates is advertising. The state has banned advertising and suicide; GTX finds ways to make the two banned things into profit at the expense of human pain and human desire. But the corporation makes profit out of women’s pain and women’s desire. We can call the story a story of “gender dystopia.”

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