Oryx and Crake

2159 words 9 pages
December 12, 2013
The Importance of Childhood in Oryx And Crake

In Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake we see the cause and effect of how our childhood and how we are raised has a large correlation to what type of adult we become. Through the character of Jimmy and later his new persona Snowman, the reader is shown the detrimental effects of an abandoned childhood. Not only do Jimmy’s poor choices in his adult life have a clear link to his neglected and unguided childhood they also create an adult that is emotionally damaged and unable to see the right path in his life even when he wants to.
Atwood’s similarities between Jimmy and Snowman and their relationship in his childhood through to adulthood clearly exemplify the cause and
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Jimmy’s isolation from the world furthered when his curiosity got the best of 3 him and he watched the awful child pornography movies. He and Crake spent their time doing things that would not lead to a normal development at all. Many hours online watching the porn and be-headings made Jimmy shut off his emotions and become emptier inside. He was desensitized and came to believe that these things were okay. One can see how desensitized Jimmy is when he and Crake get in an argument: “Crake let Oryx fall backwards, over his left arm. He looked at Jimmy, a direct look, unsmiling. ‘I’m counting on you,’ he said. Then he slit her throat. Jimmy shot” (394).Jimmy had seen a lot of violence and bloodshed in his life and it may be why he did not think twice to shooting his only friend. The violence that brought them together eventually pulled them apart. Even Jimmy comments on himself being unemotional when he sees his best friend and the love of his life on the ground decaying: “As for Oryx, she’s face down; she’s turned her head away from him as if in mourning. The ribbon in her hair is as pink as ever. Oh, how to lament? He’s a failure even at that.” (399).Due to the neglected childhood where Jimmy grew up believing that no one had any concern for his pain or problems it forced him to bury his emotions deep inside and in effect turn them off. This cause creates the effect of a person who is no longer able to feel emotions in his adult