Failed Mother Child Relationships In Margaret Atwood’s Oryx And Crake

3139 words - 13 pages

Oryx and Crake offers plentiful examples of failed mother-child relationships.Jimmy’s complicated relationship with his mother is developed most thoroughly. Herdistance, depression, and distraction stem from the work she does. Like Offred’s motherin The Handmaid’s Tale, she stays busy working. Unlike Offred’s mother (whose careeris never specified), Jimmy’s mother works for a large bio-technology corporation. Herprofessional status as a microbiologist, unthinkable in the patriarchal culture of Gilead,should make a progressive, positive statement about women’s achievement of equality.Her work ultimately threatens her sanity, though. As a result, she abandons her onlychild.
Readers learn through Jimmy about the differences between his world and theearly 21st century world. Many of the changes are technological. Scientists create foodsubstitutes, hybrid animals, and life forms used only to generate transplant tissue.There are several examples of scientific advancements applied to human reproductionas well; wealthy couples can create children with made-to-order specifications. Evenmore than in Gilead, children are described as the result of breeding. Those childrenborn into the time of the novel are largely left alone to parent themselves; no positivemothers or mother figures help the main characters. These examples illustrate thefailings of this future society.
From the beginning, Jimmy remembers his relationship with his mother asstrained. When he was a child, she expected him to be bright and understand her work.As alittle boy, he wanted unconditional love that she could not always provide. It seems clearthat Jimmy’s mother experienced some of the “undeniable anger” Adrienne Rich findsthat connects all mothers (24). His mother’sjob at the lab put a considerable strain on her, but she seemed happier when she wasworking full-time than after she quit the job and stayed home with her son. Jimmy neverfinds out the reasons behind that decision. Unlike many women, she quits workingwhen her son goes to school. She continues to do her own research at home on hercomputer, though the specific kind of work remains unstated. Jimmy observes changesin her when she works: “she seemed to be enjoying herself. She was friendly then, too.She was like a real mother and he was like a real child” (30). Her mercurial moodsperplex her son; he describes her as often depressed and sullen. He recounts hisefforts to please her, which often met with annoyance. On good days, Jimmy found hera bit frightening, a bit too much like an image of a perfect mother. She seems like anexample of Chodorow and Contratto’s modern woman, attempting to be the idealmother while working and taking care of her husband (79). Jimmy quickly realizes thathe must bend to his mother’s moods and learns to find ways of getting her attention.More than anything, he seeks to get any reaction out of her, even if it is negative.Jimmy’s common adolescent attention-getting behavior underscores his...

Find Another Essay On Failed Mother-Child Relationships in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

1304 words - 5 pages part of the novel Jimmy asked his mother if he could get a cat and she replied, “No, Jimmy, you cannot have a cat. We’ve been over this before. Cats might carry diseases that would be bad for the pigoons.” Jimmy did not seem to get the love that he should from his parents but seemed to get through it. Atwood never really explained what the importance was to Oryx being in child pornography and wonder why that was even put in the novel. Problems

Jimmy is a Justifiable Jerk: The Question of Love in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

2459 words - 10 pages lack of. Works Cited Atwood, Margaret. “The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake ‘In Context’.” Modern Language Association 119.3 (2004): 513-517. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 28 March 2014. Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2009. Print. Banerjee, Suparna. “Towards Feminist Mother: Oppositional Maternal Practice in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 14.1 (2013): 236-247. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 28 March 2014.

Parent-Child Relationships in the Poems Refugee Mother and Child, Poem at Thirty-Nine and Piano

1638 words - 7 pages In Refugee Mother and Child, the nature of relationship portrayed between a mother and child is very tender and personal. The title of this poem directly suggests a connection between a mother and child. The very first line elaborates on this idea, as seen in the metaphor; “No Madonna and child could touch, that picture of a mother's tenderness...” Here the sustained sacred love between the mother and child surpasses the iconography of Mother

Oryx and Crake: A Modern-Day Frankenstein

1832 words - 7 pages In the novel Oryx and Crake, and the classic Frankenstein, the main characters share very similar characteristics. Both Crake and Victor Frankenstein try to create a new human race which eventually leads to disaster. Also, they childishly refuse to take responsibilities for their mistakes. Even though the two books were written almost 200 years apart, it goes to show that the same problems that affected Victor in 1817 are still affecting the

Question Paper on Oryx and Crake

1369 words - 6 pages After reading the book Oryx and Crake, one question that has puzzled me is ‘How accurate is Margaret Atwood’s pre-apocalyptic world in relation to our world?’ Through this paper, I would like to compare and contrast various aspects of the real world and the world that is described in the book. By doing so, I would like to determine the accuracy of the pre- apocalyptic world described in the book. I would also like to investigate why the author

Mistreatment for Destruction: The Neglect of Family in Oryx and Crake

1681 words - 7 pages Crake. Toronto: Seal Books, 2003. 71-381 Print. Canavan, Gerry. Hope, But Not for Us: Ecological Science Fiction and the End of the World in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and the Year of the Flood . 23rd ed. Vol. 2. Toronto: Psychology Press, 2012. N. pag. Literature Interpretation Theory. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. Goldman, J., M. K. Salus, D. Wolcott, and K. Y. Kennedy. "Child Welfare Information Gateway." Chapter Six: What Are the Consequences of

The Painful and Lonely Journey in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing

2881 words - 12 pages The Painful and Lonely Journey in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing Not all journeys are delightful undertakings. In Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing, the nameless narrator underwent a painful process of shedding the false skins she had acquired in the city, in order to obtain a psychic cleansing towards an authentic self. By recognizing the superficial qualities of her friends, uncovering the meaning of love, and rediscovering her childhood, the

Satire and Feminism in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

1362 words - 6 pages In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the mandatory sex roles and blatant disregard of women’s rights in Gilead work as an effective satire, and it is quite possible that they are viewed by none of it’s citizens as a step in the direction of the common good. In many ways it could have once been seen as the common good, because the system in essence will provide for optimal procreation, but the ways in which Gilead carries out this system are

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

Abandoning Morals and Ethics: Oryx and Crake, Elizabeth Bathory

1196 words - 5 pages nothing was meant to outlast time and space itself. Works Cited Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake: A Novel. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2003. Print. Das Neves Rodrigues, Aldo César. The Worst People In History. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Google Books. Google, 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. Smith, Wesley J. "The Trouble with Transhumanism." The Center for Bioethics and Culture RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

Comparative essay between "The Storyteller" and "Oryx and Crake"

949 words - 4 pages The Search of MysteryIn the novel "The Storyteller" by Mario Vargas Llosa, he writes about a man who changes his identity to become accepted in a tribe in the Amazon forests. The setting used in Margaret Atwood's "Oryx and Crake" is much different for it is set in a futuristic community with advanced technology. Although these two novels seem to be very different because of the setting and character personalities, the social message is similar

Similar Essays

Self Discovery In Margaret Atwood’s Oryx And Crake

2154 words - 9 pages demonstrates how certain intriguing, distinctive characters develop themselves. Her novel demonstrates how there is no simple way of discovering oneself, but rather a combined method. Margaret Atwood’s book Oryx and Crake demonstrates that both the constituted and atomistic methods of self-discovery must be practiced to fully understand oneself. The captivating characters and people in her book Oryx and Crake demonstrate this. The constituted method

The Unnecessary Paranoia Of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx And Crake

1100 words - 4 pages The Unnecessary Paranoia of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake The novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood provides a dystopic vision of the outcome of unregulated pursuit of knowledge and control over nature. It is unlikely that the scenario portrayed in the novel would ever occur beyond fiction. The reason being the United States and many other countries already have regulating agencies and oversight commissions that would prevent

Margaret Atwood's Oryx And Crake Essay

1585 words - 6 pages . Works Cited DiMarco, Danette. "Paradice Lost, Paradise Regained: Homo Faber And The Makings Of A New Beginning In Oryx And Crake." Papers On Language & Literature 41.2 (2005): 170-195. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 May 2014 Ingersoll, Earl G. “Survival In Margaret Atwood’s “Novel Oryx And Crake.” Extrapolation (University Of Texas At Brownsville) 45.2 (2004): 162-175. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 May 2014 Kuester, Martin. “Genetic Games of Retiring God: Atwood’s “Divine Solution” in Oryx and Crake.” Zeitschrift fur Kanada-Studien 30.2 (2010) 76-86. Web. 1 May 2014

Understanding Vs. Knowing In Atwood’s Oryx And Crake

2435 words - 10 pages . Oryx and Crake. 1st ed. New York, New York/United States: First Anchor Books, 2004. 374. Print. Davis, Roger. ""a white illusion of a man": Snowman, Survival, and Speculation in Margaret Atwood's "Oryx and Crake"." Hosting the Monster. Ed. Holly Lynn Baumgarter. 1st ed. New York, New York/United States: Rodopi, 2008. 260. Web. 28 May 2012. DiMarco, Danette. "Paradice Lost, Paradise Regained: Homo Faber and the Makings of a New Beginning in Oryx and Crake." Papers on Language & Literature 41 (2005): n.pag. Web. 27 May 2012. Reizner, Chelsea. "Fridge Magnets." (2007): Web. Mar. 2012.