From Childhood To Adulthood: Jimmy, Oryx, And Crake

1158 words - 5 pages

Within the childhoods of many children the world over, there are certain events that shape how a child will socialize, create, and advance down the path of adulthood. In many cases, the intensity of the experience that these events create will foreshadow the outcome of key occurrences in their maturity. In the novel Oryx and Crake, written by Margaret Atwood, the three main characters all lead varied lives as children, consuming many different types of material and undergoing episodes of varied force. This raises speculation as to the intentions of Atwood’s creation of the children’s lives, as these three children grow into adults with many different intentions and lead lives that are strongly mirrored in their youth. Margaret Atwood, through the diverse childhoods of Jimmy, Crake, and Oryx, foreshadows the cataclysmic events that occur within their adult lives.
Jimmy, later in the novel “Snowman,” lives perhaps the most detailed, and intensive childhood of the three characters. It is his childhood that also foreshadows the most within his adult life. Jimmy grew up an only child to his parents, whose relationship was bearable at most. Jimmy’s relationship with his parents was one of skepticism and disappointment, and only occasionally would he long for their presence. His father, a genographer at OrganInc, the corporation that owned the compound on which they lived, was absent in his affection towards Jimmy throughout the entirety of their relationship, leaving a negative mark on Jimmy himself. The father figure image, which Jimmy’s father attempted so desperately to embody, was transparent to Jimmy and led him to increase the distance between himself and his father. Jimmy’s mother, originally a biochemist at OrganInc alongside Jimmy’s father, possessed mood swings and nearly constant pessimism towards the rest of her family thus creating a large distance between her and Jimmy. It is perhaps these broken relationships within Jimmy’s childhood that drove him to create the most strong attractions to only two people within the novel: Oryx and Crake. Without the failure of the necessary relationships within Jimmy’s childhood, the strength of the interrelations between Jimmy and Crake, (and later Oryx,) would seem misplaced. It would be safe to define Jimmy’s relation to Crake as very unsafe and in the end, cataclysmic. Crake introduced Jimmy to horrific material including live executions, pornography, and online games which in the end set the stage for Crake’s nightmarish vision of the future, of which Jimmy helped set in motion. Without Atwood’s careful placement of the degeneration of Jimmy’s relationship to his parents, the association between Jimmy and his two closest friends would have seemed weak and lacking of moral value.
The childhood of Crake, the least foreshadowed by Atwood within the novel, is also one of the least diverse. Atwood reveals little about Crake’s relationships to anyone before he meets Jimmy, thus making his childhood...

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