Margaret Atwood 's Oryx And Crake

1428 Words6 Pages
Childhood is a reoccurring theme in Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake. Children often grow up and develop into unique individuals based upon their own morals and values however their later lives are largely influenced by their childhood and those who were around them. Atwood dives into the childhood of two characters Jimmy who is also known as Snowman and a young girl by the name of Oryx. The novel follows the characters back and forth between childhood and adulthood and it is made clear what has influenced the characters in the past to be who they are in their later lives. The evidence is shown in ways such as their occupations, behaviour and even ability to possess and maintain mature relationships. Jimmy was raised in a broken household where he developed feelings of guilt, repression and anxiety. These are feelings that were deeply engraved into his memory and was unable to escape as they have followed him into his adulthood. It is made evident that his parents marriage is falling apart because of their constant arguing. When Jimmy was a child he decided to light a strand of his hair on fire. His father blamed his this incident on his mother because “the cigarette lighter wouldn’t have been there if his mother didn’t smoke” (Atwood 16). Jimmy’s mother fought back by saying “all children are arsonists at heart, and if not for the lighter he’d have used matches” (16). “Once the fight got going Jimmy felt relieved” (16) because he knew he would not be punished.
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