Self-Destruction In Oryx And Crake

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Psychologists and Pseudo-Scientists have long sought to explain the inborn human desire for self destruction. Selfishness against one’s own benefit, the urge to harm or take on harm 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 criticizes this death drive by imbuing her society’s tenants, culture, and interpersonal relationships with this sense of inevitable self-destruction.
Regarding the compounds, Atwood foreshadows a
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Jimmy’s drive for sexual gratification, according to Freud, stems from the unconscious, unresolved conflict he bears towards his mother (Beyond the Pleasure Principle 13). Since Jimmy, as a child could not process the multi-faceted motivations behind his mother’s malaise, he seeks out the simple, one dimensional girl that can assuage his pain. Such pursuits remain self-destructive in the fact that the very initiative to find the perfect mother figure renders Jimmy unable to form intimate relationships, due to the aspects of commodification spoken of previously. However, this drive serves as an instance of the broader societal paradox of the compounds, as the pursuit of an ideal prevents any legitimate reform based on an introspective look at

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