What is an analysis of "Black Box" by Jennifer Egan?

An analysis of "Black Box" should focus on the story's themes and technical construction. This is a very experimental science fiction story written in second-person point of view and originally published as a series of tweets, focused on themes of exploitation, objectification, and manipulation.

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Any analysis of "Black Box" should aim to simultaneously address the story's themes and its driving ideas while also discussing details of its technical construction. Note, for example, just how experimental this short story actually is: it is written in second-person point of view (a form of narrative point of view that is so rare as to usually go practically unseen in literature) and was originally published by the New Yorker as a series of tweets on Twitter. In a science fiction story that focuses on technology, its use, and its effect on the human condition, these technical choices do seem to closely reflect this story's larger thematic content.

Ultimately, however, note that this story is, at its core, focused around themes of objectification and violation. It follows the experience of women who have essentially been subjected to what seems like large-scale reprogramming and/or emotional manipulation and been implanted with surveillance technology in order to be used as honeypots to retrieve information from their targets. These themes of objectification and dehumanization are reflected in how they are always referred to as "beauties," as if their personalities and identities do not matter, only their bodies and how their bodies can be used. It is a story about exploitation, with the women being exploited both by the men they are spying on and by the State that uses them as its agents.

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