Snow Crash- by Neal Stephenson Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Dec 18th, 2018

The passage

We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas. Like mass hysteria or a tune that gets into your head that you keep humming all day until you spread it to someone else.

Theme-Technology and information

The globe has noticed several crucial socioeconomic issues and writers consider it imperative to put these realistic issues into literal writing. One of the awesome books that everyone would like to read is the Snow Crash, which is an entertaining cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson.

The antics used by Stephenson to reveal issues that sometimes affect the U.S society are credible with the novel portraying social and economic matters affecting the federal government of the United States. The story is set in one of the globally renowned American cities, viz. Los Angeles.

The federal government decided to surrender most of its authority to private entrepreneurs and organisations, which led to several controversies. Due to this aspect, the national governance went into wreckage. Private organisations started allowing individual sovereignty with the country witnessing several cases of increased drug trafficking, violent criminal offences, and traffic congestion. Mercenary armies and Highway companies started fighting for national services and resources for their selfish desires.

Snow Crash begins with the main character, Hiro, the protagonist who suddenly discovers a pseudo-narcotic drug nicknamed “Snow Crash” offered in an exquisite Metaverse night club. The novel rests on ideally a fiction science.

This cyberpunk novel portrays Snow Crash as a mysterious latest computer virus that has the capability of affecting not only computers, but also a hacker’s (human) brain. In the mean time, a drug with a similar name is gradually gaining prominence in Los Angles. Snow Crash almost declares the end of the world, with the powers of stopping it resting upon only the freelance hackers and the Mafia.

The fast-paced detective work and speedy scenes involve several human issues including religion, ancient Sumerian myth, and archaeology touching on some Old Testament writings and history of monotheisms. Unfortunately, Hiro’s fellow hacker and a close friend fall victim to the Snow Crash effects, which forces Hiro to apply his cognitive, sword fighting, and computer hacking skills to discover and eliminate Snow Crash to stop it from causing further harm.

Stephenson’s Snow Crash unveils the reality about the rapidly growing world in the technological field where hackers have become part of the computerised world. Snow Crash reveals how computers and their applications coupled with other technological devices are rapidly becoming part of human life with the dependence on these devices steadily surging.

Currently, computer utilization has increased with a majority of offices globally depending on this device, which is a similar situation in the negative side that Stephenson notices how drug trafficking and other dirty behaviours are consuming the global social and political realm.

Ideas and knowledge on the use of computers are becoming familiar to people with computer users enhancing their abilities to manipulate computerised activities. Directly correcting with how narcotic and other drugs affect the normal functioning of human beings’ brains, the newly introduced computer virus bears a similar nickname (Snow Crash) like the drug trafficking zone in the Metaverse nightclub. Snow Crash portrays how the world is heading towards a dystopian future of computerisation.

This cyberpunk novel unveils how human beings just like computers harbour susceptibility towards viruses, thus portraying how such viruses are capable of capturing and infecting both the human and the computer brain, hence taking control over them. The novel’s theme of cyberpunk also reveals how human beings have developed sudden “firmware” in their brains like computers, which reflects on the history of civilization in the Sumerian culture.

Connection of this story to ancient Sumerian culture and the bible demonstrates how computer viruses have become powerful like the goddess Asherah in the Sumerian culture with their linguistic virus, forcing god Enki to provide possible remedies to avert the situation. Just the way Hiro rose against the dangerous computer virus that was capable of affecting both computers and people, god Enki managed to protect the people against Sumerians’ linguistic virus that affected the people of Sumer during the prehistorically era.

Through his writing dexterity, Stephenson manages to capture the readers’ mind through the story of the protagonist, Hiro, who uses his cognitive, physical, sword fighting, and computer information hacking skills to fight the spread of the Snow Crash.

Just the way the social media has affected and shaped most of people’s social lives, Snow Crash demonstrates how Metaverse cyberpunk, as an online-shared link, causes issues in Los Angeles. As a contemporary issue in the globe, the theme of cyberpunk, which is a postmodern science that associates with information and technology, is eminent in the novel. After the government cedes most of its powers to the Franchises, who manipulate all government resources and practices poor governance, freelance hackers emerge.

Through their leader, Hiro, and his fellow hackers, readers understand how activities of hacking occurs including spreading dangerous computer viruses that cause inconveniences to web users especially while using public terminals. Several computer viruses spread through sharing of Internet data.

The current era in the field of information technology is increasingly facing challenges from several programmes and software emerging from various developers and users.

Stephenson instils necessary computer knowledge to users that with time, just as the human brain suffers from various ailments, computers will bear more challenges than they did earlier due to human made computer viruses. Internet and computer hacking as portrayed in the novel do not only cause the spread of computer viruses, but pose great insecurity challenges to the Internet users and countries as well.

Activities affiliated with Internet hackers have currently resulted in controversies between paramount security departments globally like the police, artificial intelligences, and the hackers. Serious Internet hackers are capable of lacerating important security details in a nation and engaging in the intelligence business with insurgents including dangerous terrorists. In the novel, Hiro and the young girl engage in the intelligence business with the CIC, with the aid of intelligent skateboard posing serious threats to national security.


Snow Crash is a riveting cyberpunk novel that triggers the readers’ attention not only with its trivia and imaginations, but also from the lessons embedded in it. The novel provides the reader with great knowledge over contemporary issues involving technological advancement and the natural human brain.

Ideally, information over technological devices is capable of traversing across a vast populace and psychologically affecting some individuals. Currently, the world social status feels the effect of increased consumption of social media sites (i.e. Google+, Twitter, and Facebook among others) as the novel portrays the use of Metaverse to produce a human-like simulation on the present 3D world.

More often, the novel has provided readers with knowledge based on computer application, where computer and human brains correlate in their functioning. Similar to a computer virus that has constantly caused problems to computer users, Snow Crash provides caution and knowledge on future Information technology within the globe.

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