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A Summary Of Margaret Atwood's Oryx And Crake

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Psychologists and Pseudo-Scientists have long sought to explain the inborn human desire for self destruction. The urge to be selfish even against one’s own benefit, the urge to harm or to be harmed for the sake of one’s own security, drinking, smoking, these clearly injurious thoughts and actions seduce individuals by an instinct Freud coins the Death Drive (Beyond the Pleasure Principle 30). Moreover, as advances in genetic engineering tear the veil between science fiction and fact, modern critics have questioned how this suicidal drive may push into uncharted frontiers. Such concerns have fostered a fear of unadulterated scientific progress captured within the works of Margaret Atwood. Oryx and Crake, especially, utilizes almost hyperbolic predictions of scientific innovation as evidence of a deeper self-destructive nature, and as justification for fear. As a result, Atwood…show more content…
Atwood purposefully characterizes the relationship between Jimmy and Oryx to exactly fit Jimmy’s fantasies of acceptance. Oryx consistently punctuates her interactions with Jimmy with sly compliments and praises (“Jimmy, you are so bad”,“Jimmy, you worry too much.”,“Jimmy, you’re funny!”,) feeding into his ever growing desire for societal legitimacy and adoration (Atwood 66,79,191). In this way, Oryx embodies the “neo-conservative American model of perfect motherhood” that Jimmy seeks out to cope with the loss of his biological mother (Banerjee). From a feminist standpoint, the normative conceptualization of motherhood places a subjectivity on women that demands that they devote themselves entirely to the rearing of a child. Moreover, Jimmy’s implicit craving to find a woman that fits this model of subjectivity, one that will unconditionally love and adore him, is proof of his submission to the heteropatriarchal ideals of the compound
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