The Discourse of Hyperreality in Cyberpunk Novel the Mortality Doctrine Series by James Dashner
NUNING, Indri Astutik
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The Mortality Doctrine is a series of cyberpunk fiction written in three volumes by James Dashner. The story depicts the life of near future America where people become addicted into a virtual reality world called VirtNet. Their addictions are getting harder after the appearance of Life Blood Deep—one most popular virtual reality game in Virtet that lead to the appearance of simulations and various events followed. Those events are simulation of worlds, simulation of god and paradise. This research is conducted to analyze further the significance from the appearance of hyperreality and its construction in the novel in relation to the hyperreality discourse in America today. The Mortality Doctrine Series features some events that portray the blur line between the real and the artificial which caused hyperreality phenomenon to occur. More importantly, these events arose because of technology domination towards societies and people’s dependency into it. Technology domination is a common characteristics in cyberpunk fiction. It is also related to postmodernist fiction because the domination further lead to the emergence of hyperreality. This research employs three questions; those are how hyperreality implemented in the novel, significance from the competition in achieving the position of god and the significance of hyperreality construction in the novel. This research use qualitative method to analyze the data. The data itself are collected from close reading of The Mortality Doctrine Series in a form of statements said by characters and narration. Another supporting data are collected from journals, articles, and books in a form of information that correlates to the hyperreality discourse in The Mortality Doctrine Series. The discussion starts from the construction of cyberpunk fictions that leads to the discussion of hyperreality construction in the novel related to Baudrillard’s hyperreality theory. The analysis used changing order of images employed by Baudrillard further revealed the appearance of simulation after simulation. The first simulation is simulation of world. The second simulation is simulation of gods and paradise which further reveal the emergence of competition in gaining the position of god. Moreover, the construction of hyperrelity in The Mortality Doctrine Series is interrelated to the hyperreality discourse in America. Through the use of technology, American people experience hyperreality. These experiences seek to exist because they tend to go beyond their limitation as a human being by the help of their technological advancements. As a result they are believing more in the hyperreality as model of the ideal paradise that they have been looking for.
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