The Year of the Flood

Childhood Trauma in the MaddAddam Trilogy 12th Grade

Childhood Trauma in the MaddAddam Trilogy

Memories of youth and adolescence are an integral aspect of one’s maturation. The consequences of traumatizing childhoods can affect children throughout the remainder of their lives, as those who fail to confront their damages subsequently fail to truly move on. The outcomes of a negative adolescent experience are evident in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy through the many characters who lose their innocence at a young age. As a result of their adolescent experiences, these characters grow up with many defining characteristics that can be traced back to their early years. Through the characters Jimmy, Ren, and Blackbeard, Atwood demonstrates how the quality of one’s childhood ultimately affects his or her mental development into adulthood.

In Atwood’s first novel, Oryx and Crake, the protagonist Jimmy suffers an unhappy childhood of neglect and disregard and consequently finds himself forever discontent in adulthood. While perhaps the clearest moment of abandonment in his childhood is when Jimmy’s mother leaves him, taking with her his best friend Killer, a genetically modified “rakunk,” Jimmy’s life before his mother’s abandonment is still replete with neglect. Growing up, he is...

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