No Escape from Stereotypes

Although Escape from Spiderhead is written as being futuristic, it actually accurately exaggerates very modern stereotypes that people hold about women and prisoners. Although never stated, Abnesti treats the prisoners as though they are hardly human simply because they are criminals. When talking to Jeff, Abnesti asks him, “How many kids do I have?” as if to remind him that because he has children and a life outside of the prison walls, he is somehow better than him. This reflects the misconception that some might hold that criminals are simply criminals, not complex human beings like everyone else. Furthermore, the story refers to the belief that women are objects and can only be used for sex. When Jeff is thinking about having sex with Heather, he refers to her in his head as an “unworthy-seeming vessel”. Even though at one point he felt love for her, the word “vessel” shows how he, maybe even subconsciously, feels that women are only objects designed for his pleasure.