Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Book Review
As we continue to follow Jimmy on his journey, we see how females are viewed through Jimmy’s eyes. We see that Jimmy is not the best with women since he loses his mother at a young age. As he grows, he starts to fool around with more women, but his love life changes when he reunites with Oryx.
Jimmy’s mother is the first cause of his lack of respect for women. His mother wouldn’t care for him. He would do everything himself, and after trying numerous times to get her approval, he gave up. ““Other people are in charge of that now,” said his mother. She didn’t seem to care at all.” (Atwood 30). After a while, Jimmy starts treating his mother like an object he could mess around with and didn't need to respect.
Jimmy only views women as objects that fulfill his sexual desires. “Now that he was climbing up the ladder, he found a woman, and then another one, and another one after that. He no longer thought of these women as girlfriends: now they were lovers. They were all married or the equivalent, looking for a chance to sneak around on their husbands or partners, to prove they were still young or else to get even.”(250-251). This view of Jimmy has caused him to have many lovers. These women fulfill his desires, but he doesn’t have a long-lasting relationship with any of them. This reminds me of the 1920s where women were only seen as housewives and only took care of the children.
We see that in most of Jimmy’s memories, he doesn’t recall many of the memories he has with women “Jimmy wasn’t paying much attention when Crack was introduced to the class by Melons Riley, their Hoodroom and Ultratexts teacher. Her name wasn’t Melons – that was a nickname used among the boys in the class” (71). Jimmy thinks of women as objects, and that is not his own doing since the boys in his class do the same thing, which shows us that their respective fathers also do the same. This gives us an insight into how broken the view of women really is in their world.
When Jimmy was about to fall into the darkness of accepting that his love life was meaningless, he was reunited with Oryx after many years. Oryx is a significant character in the story since she is the only woman Jimmy has any real feelings towards .“We could be together. Jimmy, you’re funny! We’re together now!”(319-320). With Oryx in the picture, we see that Jimmy starts to commit to a real love relationship. Suddenly, that relationship is crushed within a blink of an eye.
Are Jimmy’s actions towards women justifiable? Do you think Oryx would have been able to change Jimmy’s view of women? What do you consider to happen to ruin his relationship with Oryx?