As I read through the first few chapter of Oryx and Crake, I found the relationship between Snowman/Jimmy (?) and “Jimmy’s” mother very confusing. Jimmy is the character generally referred to when speaking about the mother in the story. “Jimmy’s mother persists as a clear image, full colour, with a glossy white paper frame around her like a Polaroid,but he can recall his father only in details…” (p.49). Although this imagine would make his mother seem like a very influential, positive source in his life, his descriptions throughout other areas of the story portray her as having wide varieties of mood swings. So, my question for this story would be, does Jimmy view his mom positively or negatively, or is that even a point for analyzing?
“That was the key, that would do it. She might start crying and jump up and run out of the room, banging the door behind her, whuff. Or else she might start crying and hugging him. Or she might throw the coffee cup across the room and start yelling…” (p.33). This quote was in reference to Jimmy asking lots of questions to his mother in order to get any response from her usually blank demeanor. Yet this is the parent that Jimmy remembers clearly, in color, and framed. There was great fear and distance revolving around their interactions together considering how varied the response from Jimmy’s mother could be. “He would pat her, standing well back as with strange dogs, stretching out his hand, saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’” (p.33). Considering the amount of estrangement from his mother, I would have thought that this would have been a time of life that Jimmy would have wanted to forget.
Although there is still confusion as to whether or not Jimmy has a positive image of his mother, the books gives hints to why he may. “More than anything, Jimmy had wanted to make her laugh–to make her happy, as he seemed to remember her being once” (p.31). In another quote when Jimmy’s father is talking to Ramona he mentions, “…I found the top guy, made the appointment, but she wouldn’t go…” (p.25) which hints to reader that she may have not always been the way she was now.
I am still confused, as of now, about how the relationship between the Jimmy and his mother will affect the basis of the story. It seems to me after reading more of the book and gaining more context that the relationship is strained but he still likes to think of his mother in a better light. During my reading, the confusion was only heightened due to the mix of identities put into the one tangible character Jimmy. The author may be using the text in this way to show the disconnect between Jimmy and reality due to the mixed opinions given about his mother.