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Final Essay of Oryx and Crake

Final Essay of Oryx and Crake - 1 Mata Kranakis 260276379...

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1 Mata Kranakis 260276379 March 12, 2008 Prof. Monique Morgan Option 2 The Presentation of Jimmy's Mother through the Perspective of Jimmy: The Importance of Imperfection In Margaret Atwood's dystopian work Oryx and Crake, Jimmy/Snowman's constant rejection, and ultimate abandonment by his mother leaves him emotionally scarred. As a result his subsequent relationships with other women are sexual, and based on his desire to nurture, and to possess a "perfect woman", or a carbon copy of what he believes his mother should be. Overall, however, Snowman's actions based on his mother's betrayal of him informs the reader more about Snowman and his control issues rather then about his mother. In this way, his mother and the other women introduced in the novel become vehicles to explain Jimmy's emotional inabilities. Failed attempts to repair women are shown through his relations with Amanda Payne and his various "married...wounded... [and] ignored" (Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" 303) lovers. The relationships they have follow a controlled pattern devised by Jimmy to increase his own physical, and emotional gratification. However, he soon loses interest in these pointless affairs and he begins romance with Oryx a woman he is introduced to through HottTotts, a porn website. Jimmy quickly becomes obsessed with her. He idolizes her because she is serving as a pawn for a string of men which has left her damaged, perhaps even more than him; and because "Oryx ha[s] neither pity for him nor self-pity...she refuse[s] to feel what he want[s] her to feel"(Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" 233). Thus, Oryx is the only other women who can deny him like his mother
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2 had. Finally, however, with the creation of the Crakers Snowman is introduced to the perfect female. However, it is through this perfection Snowman finally realizes that "It was the thumbprints of human imperfection that used to move him" (Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" 121). Jimmy's perception of women was greatly affected by viewing the way his father and his mother interacted, as well as his father's interactions with Ramona: his coworker who after Jimmy's mother's disappearance becomes his second wife. Throughout his childhood Jimmy's parents create a tense and dysfunctional childhood home for their son punctuated by frequent arguments over trivial matters. When Jimmy's mother leaves, Jimmy's father is noticeably shaken not out of devastation and sadness, but because of how her disappearance reflects on him: "his wife had broken every rule in the book she must've had a whole other life and he'd had no idea. That sort of thing reflected badly on a man" (Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" 76). Following her escape, Jimmy’s father focuses on his own happiness as his new girlfriend moves into the family home. Jimmy notices that their relationship appears very sexual: "life took on a different pattern, which involved bouts of giggly, growly sex" (Atwood, "Oryx and Crake" 78). The nature of Ramona and Jimmy's father's relationship sends Jimmy the message that it is safer and more enjoyable to be in a relationship that bases itself on sexual gratification rather than emotional commitment. This concept that remains
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