Analysis of "The Girl Who Was Plugged in"

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 girl, made out in Tiptree’s story, is something unrealistic.
“P-Burke is about as far as you can get from the concept girl. She’s female, yes-but for her, sex is a four letter word spelled P-A-I-N…”(506) By describing P-Burke as “the ugly of the world” (547) as well as “about as far as you can get from the concept girl”(556) one might see not what ‘girl’ can be defined as, rather more so as what ‘girl’ is not. ‘Girl’, cannot be P-Burke, and P-Burke is ugly.   “But Delphi is in no sense a robot. Call her a Waldo if you must. The fact is she’s just a girl, a real-live girl with her brain in an unusual place…”(555) Delphi is described as “a real-live girl…”(555) as well as a “Goddess”(565) and “porno for angels”(550). This re enforces that ‘girl’ is Delphi, and Delphi is beautiful.
To distinguish Delphi’s character, one must be able to see her whole being. She is perfect in every physical way; she even “walks lovely”(555). Not being only beautiful and graceful the way society calls for, she acts also as society commands.   Mr. Cantle tells Delphi on page 554 “your job is to do what they say.” This takes away Delphi’s free will. Delphi is created and controlled by what society wants; she is a robot as proved by the phrase “Without a remote, it [being Delphi] is just a vegetable”(551),...