Mutual Recognition in the Spiderhead

Between Jeff and Abnesti there was a strong binary in which Abnesti was dominant over Jeff. Being that Jeff was a criminal submitting to the experiments of Abnesti the scientist, Abnesti held most of the power in their relationship. Although Abnesti was clearly dominant, the two conversed as if they were almost friends and they had an understanding of the reasoning behind the work they were doing. It also seemed as though Abnesti was attempting to give Jeff a false sense of mutual recognition by making himself appear as a normal human being and constantly reminding Jeff that he has a family, he has feelings, all to make Jeff feel equal to Abnesti as two humans with emotions. On page 68, Abnesti asks Jeff, “Am I a monster?… Do I remember birthdays around here? When a certain individual got athlete’s foot on his groin on a Sunday, did a certain other individual drive over to Rexall and pick up the cream, paying for it with his own personal money?” (Spiderhead, 68). For a moment, Abnesti’s description of how he is not a “monster”, makes Jeff think he isn’t all that bad and he’s just doing his job. This almost makes Jeff feel equal to Abnesti, when in reality Abnesti does not see Jeff this way.

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