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Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
  • Study Guide
Summary

Chapter 10

Summary Chapter 10

The most significant event in chapter 10 comes near the end, when Jimmy learned of his mother’s execution. By this point, many years had passed since his mother had abandoned him. Over those years, Jimmy continued to feel the pain of his mother’s absence as well as anger and resentment. Yet these feelings about his mother also grew increasingly dull over those same years due to the CorpSeCorp’s frequent appearances in his life to interrogate him about his mother’s whereabouts. When the Corpsmen showed up for yet another interrogation, Jimmy had become so used to the sessions that he wasn’t prepared for the footage the agents showed him of his mother’s execution. Furthermore, the words she uttered when she turned to the camera were clearly meant for Jimmy, and they immediately brought back a flood of competing emotions. The word “goodbye” offered him a kind of closure he never had after she left him, but at the same time the words “I love you” also reactivated Jimmy’s longing for her. These are words he didn’t hear much as a boy, and the belated news of his mother’s love sent Jimmy into a spiraling depression.