Thoughts from the front lines

Miserable childhood experience changes your whole life!


Oryx is from an ignorant, poor village in Southeast Asia. Because of the poverty, Oryx’s mother has to sell her to Uncle En. After that, Oryx sells roses, involves in child porn, was treated as a sex slave, and she meets Crake because of to provide him sex service. Therefore, Oryx has the chance to involved into the great cause of human destruction. For this character, I sympathize with her, the tragic childhood experience brought her great pain.


I feel that Oryx has some weird thoughts. She even makes the excuse for those who exploit her. Remember when Jimmy is angry to those who exploit her and he says that he wants to kill the filmmaker? She just avoids talking about it. She makes me feel that Jimmy is unreasonable and he shouldn’t get angry. In one hand, it shows that she suffered too much that she used to the feeling of misfortune, on the other hand, it clearly shows that she is submissive and cowardly. She even says Uncle En is kind to her, so she appreciates him but I feel it’s weird. Obviously, Oryx isn’t the kind of great man like “love your enemy” or someone who has the Stockholm syndrome. Because of she doesn’t have a family, so it’s hard for her to find the value and the feeling of being needed. Therefore, to have the monetary value is the only way which can make her feel safe.

Oryx in the book has a really bad childhood experience. It is incredible that a child who has gone through so many bad things in her life could grow into a kind person after her growing up.

An example from our true life: Elizabeth Smart, was kidnapped when she was 14 years old and rescued after experienced nine months nightmare. Elizabeth bravely stood on the stage of TED, to tell people about her experience. Some of the traumas are permanent and do not disappear with the age.

Youtube video–My Story| Elizabeth Smart 11:36 minutes


Atwood, M. (2003). Oryx and Crake. Toronto: Vintage Canada. Print.

Smart, Elizabeth. (2014, January 31). My story. Youtube, retrieved from


6 thoughts on “Miserable childhood experience changes your whole life!

  1. I think that Oryx is just a conformist. It was just her way of adapting to the situation and living through it, however, if we try to put ourselves in her position…well, she never really experienced the life that we, privileged human beings have, as we have seen that her conditions in her village were bad as well. Thus, she wouldn’t know back then that what she was going through was awful, to her, it was something normal. She was seeking for love and comfort from her mother, but couldn’t get it from her, so she got it (in a very peculiar way) from the people who liked her because of the pleasure/or money she brought to them.
    Sadly, we don’t know much about her, so we can only insinuate things based on our own perspectives of the character. I really hope that in the next book we will be able to get a better insight of Oryx’s perspective of the whole thing!


  2. I agree that Oryx did not have the best childhood. Through her relationships with the Jimmy and Crake, the reader gets an impression that she has an optimistic personality. It seems as though she developed this kind of coping mechanism to protect herself from the harsh world. It may seem to be the only way for her so survive. She focuses on the good things that came out of a bad situation. I also think that the reason she refuses to answer Jimmy’s questions is because he wouldn’t be able to understand what she’s been through. He lived a completely different life from her in the Compound. His only reaction that he can give her is anger. The expression of anger is a result of Jimmy not knowing how to cope with Oryx’s childhood, therefore he is unable to express his true thoughts and feelings because he doesn’t understand her. I think Oryx’s character was created to balance out Jimmy’s pessimistic personality and Crakes’ pragmatic personality with of which focused more on the negative aspects of their current state.


  3. I feel like Oryx is the type of person that suppresses everything and just doesn’t want to talk about it. As if she just wants to forget it all. I can understand why should would feel this way going through such a tough childhood but I feel like that`s not the healthiest way to deal with what she`s been through… personally I like to speak about my problems and have someone help me through it but some people just want to move on and look at the brighter things in life. they just want to continue living without having that dread dragged with them throughout life which is totally understandable.


  4. I think that Oryx is the way she is exactly because of her past. She never saw what it is to have a “normal” life. She was used to these bad experience her whole youth and I feel like those experiences made her stronger and this is why she is so positive. She does not want to live in her past. We also have a difference perspective of what is a happy life. She just see the world differently.


  5. Oryx is definitely an odd character, I’ll give you that. I totally agree that its surprising how she is completely okay with her past life, making me characterize oryx as a conformist. She is an optimistic person who’s kind and patient which aren’t exactly qualities you’d associate to a person with her history. Maybe she’s simply suppressed all her feelings, maybe she’s come to terms with them, who knows really what goes on in her head. Bottom line, its just odd that she doesn’t have any emotion whatsoever while talking about it, but hey thats oryx for you.


  6. Yes, Oryx did have a horrible childhood that affected her as an adult in a sinister way, but I don’t agree that those with “miserable childhoods” can’t come out of it stronger, and kinder than others, like Oryx has in Oryx and Crake. The way I see it, there are two outcomes to going through trauma in your youth: victimizing yourself, or coming out stronger through experience, and Oryx clearly chose to let it make her a stronger woman, who helped create what she and Crake viewed as the “perfect human”. I think instead of letting her past consume her, she conditioned herself to view the things that she’d gone through in a positive way, by being thankful and kind to others. We can all learn a lot from Oryx, and I think that’s why she’s such a crucial part of the MaddAddam trilogy.


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