Lost in “Burning Chrome”

Photo by Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash

In William Gibson’s short story “Burning Chrome” we are introduced to a wide array of characters with extremely different personalities including; Bobby, Jack and Rikki. In this story all these characters seem to be lost in a sense in which they are unable to express their true selves.

When we are first introduced to Bobby he seems like a typical womanizer in the beginning. However, as the story progresses we see Bobby become more vulnerable as he tries to pursue Rikki and claims his love towards her, however, Jack knows that this is normal for Bobby. Bobby seems to be lost in life and looking for affirmation in random women that he claims he loves.

I think Jack’s character is more complex, especially because of his arm. I think it could be a metaphor for his life and how he’s missing a piece of it in a sense that he can never truly be happy. Jack does not like talking about his arm and tries to avoid the topic altogether much like how he avoids his depressive attitude. Jack is fond towards Rikki as well and he knows he will never be able to have her much like his left arm.

Rikki is lost in sense because she feels that her only purpose in life is to become a simstim star in order to find happiness and abandon her old life and leave it behind. I also find it ironic that the name of the bar that they spend time at is called ‘Gentlemen Losers’ because although they make it big none of them ever truly get what they want in the end.



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