“A red double-decker grinds past, registering less as mirror-world than as some Disney prop for Londonland.”(54)
“Mirror-world” is a term that has frequently appeared in the novel. On page 3, mirror-world refers to a place where “the plugs on appliances are huge, triple-pronged, for a species of current that only powers electric chairs, in America. Cars are reversed, left to right, inside; telephone handsets have a different weight, a different balance; the covers of paperbacks look like Australian money.” It seems like mirror-world is another word for the present. Like we discussed in class, Cayce is stuck in the past and can’t seem to catch up to the world around her. I think she feels trapped and that everything around her is fake. Literally speaking, we see ourselves when we look in the mirror, but I feel like Cayce sees everything except herself in the mirror.
Sugar (21), fruit (22), milk (27), furniture, cars (28), traffic (60), and a license plate (61) are a few things that have been described as “mirror-world” objects. Those are things that we see or use every day, but William Gibson still points them out in his writing. I think his intention is to give us, as reader, an idea of how Cayce observes everything in so much detail. Her body reacts to what she sees, and seeing things in such detail is likely to make her a very sensitive person.
On page 54, a red double-decker bus is described as “mirror-world” as well. We talked a lot about Disney theme parks in class. I’ve been to Disney World in Orlando, and as soon as you step in the theme park, you’re surrounded by Disney, and only Disney. The first thing I saw when I walked into the park was a flower arrangement in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. When you get something to eat, the wrapper or the napkin says Disney on it, or if you get a drink, the cup says Disney on it. You are “trapped” inside what is supposed to be the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
This meme is really ironic because Alice is saying that the world is too mainstream, but Disney only exaggerates the definition of mainstream. No individuality exists in Disney World. The only brand you hear of is Disney and it feels like nothing else even matters or exists.
As a reader, I am frustrated for Cayce because she is in a place that she can’t get out of. Any little thing can cause her body to react in an unpleasant way. There is no way for her to predict what is coming next.