I decided to close read the section of “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” paragraphs 6-7, which talked about the process of choosing the name, Delphi. 

These couple of sentences really give a lot of the story away, and while I was reading through the story the first time, I never really thought much of it. Now, reading it a second time, it’s clear that even the first sentence gives a better insight into how they view P. Burke. The first sentence refers to choosing a name as to part of the “business” and has obviously been done many times before by Doctor Tesla. 

During these few short sentences, the reader encounters several people. Doctor Tesla, Joe, the astrologer and the semantics girl and each help in the task of picking the new name for P. Burke. The author uses short sentences, jumping from one person’s inout to another, replicating conversation that might take place in a business meeting setting. I looked up the definition of the word astrologer because it seemed out of place, or like it did not fit as a job title in this context. Unfortunately, the definition is a studier of the stars or forseer of the future, so it gave little insight into why the author might have used this title, but it’s clear that Tiptree wanted it to all seem rushed, or out of P. Burke’s control. 

Another word that I needed to find the definition of was “teratogenesis”, which mean a developmental malformation. I assume that this refers to P. Burke’s condition which causes physical deformation. 

The conclusion of this segment is an agreement in which the name Delphi, is “gingerly” agreed upon. A last name is chosen as well, but is obviously not view as important, because ultimately, P. Burke is not important. She is a product, and her name is just another part of her brand. 




2 responses to “Phila(Delphi)a

  1. The naming process does feel a bit rushed, I agree. I was also trying to figure out if “Dr. Tesla” was referring to the major inventor, Nikola Tesla, but I couldn’t find a connection between the two.


  2. Perhaps the title of “astrologer” is important because it has to do with foretelling events. In the sentence about the astrologer, it said he/she “grooves on it”, which is an odd choice of words. To groove can mean to fit into something, so maybe the astrologer was foreseeing (or hoping to foresee) a future where P. Burke fit into their plans?


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