Misogyny In Margaret Atwood's Oryx And Crake

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Margaret Atwood's novel, Oryx and Crake, centers on the life of Jimmy who grows up in a futuristic dystopia defined by extreme wealth disparity, misogyny, and the consolidation of state order under multinational scientific corporations. The novel unfolds non-linearly, as Jimmy's future self, Snowman, reflects on the consequences of genetic modification and unattainable love from his earlier life. The overarching presence of misogyny, as illustrated through virtual and online violence, the gendering of STEM research, and the beauty industry, influence Jimmy's personal relationships, especially with Oryx, the enigmatic girl he believes he loves. Unfortunately, by the end of the novel, these gender frameworks color his failing relationship …show more content…

He accepts no blame and feels no guilt for the work that he does. Over time, Jimmy adapts to this and begins to manipulate his family’s dysfunction to achieve his own ends. There is no doubt that Jimmy retains aspects of his father’s perspective on gender. Furthermore, Jimmy’s relationship with his mother is destroyed by the distress caused from the polarization of their society. Disturbed by the prominence of third world poverty and her husband’s immoral experimentation, it is evident that Sharon is suffering from depression. For Jimmy, her wallowing reaffirms the stigma that women are emotionally inferior to men. As a result, he intentionally triggers and manipulates his mother, much like his father did, until she is broken down. Afterwards, “he would pat her …saying 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' And he was sorry, but there was more to it: he was also gloating, congratulating himself, because he'd managed to create such an effect." (33) After years of neglect, and disinterest, Jimmy resented that his mother never pursued a significant relationship with him, and took advantage of the only way he could meaningfully interact with her, even if it was vicious. His attempt at a relationship spiraled into a self-important, power-hungry cycle much like Sharon’s dynamic with her husband and the powers that control society. Given her ethical concerns over the corporatization of scientific experimentation, Sharon leaves the compound and Jimmy behind. Years later

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