Oryx as a child

Oryx's childhood is first recounted in chapter six (Oryx) and is one that is shrouded in sexual ambiguity.
As a young child her poverty stricken family sells her to a man known by the villagers as Uncle En.
Oryx remembers very little of her birth place except the symbiotic relationship that the village had with Uncle En.
She recounts in detail how the deluded mothers would tell the children that this was for the best and that they would one day return to the village when 'things got better' but no one ever returned.
Oryx perceived the sale of herself and brother as one of a loving sacrifice by her mother; she was sacrificing two children together because she did not want them to be alone as she loved them too much.
Jimmy is overcome with the implicit sexual exploitation of her childhood, but rather than being appalled by this sexual exploitation, Oryx rationalizes that this exploitation is necessary for the survival of the families.

Oryx's trip to her new home is equally as vague, Uncle En has given instructions for the children to call him 'Uncle En' this further underpins the ominous perverted undertones of Uncle En's intentions, which is further emphasized by the encounter with the security guards; 'You have a lot of nieces and nephews said one of the soldiers grinning.... we aren't sure we should believe you' Uncle En then proceeds to pull Oryx from the car telling her to state who he is; 'Uncle En she said the two soldiers laughed and uncle en laughed also.'

The brief and heavily implied recollection of Oryx's childhood in this chapter is extremely unsettling not only for Jimmy but also for the reader. Throughout the novel we are left questioning the true extent of Oryx's sexual enslavement and if she is ever emancipated from this sexual entanglement or if Crake and Jimmy have now taken over the role of Uncle En.

Oryx is put to work as a flower girl and quickly grows in popularity due to her beauty and innocence. However it was this innocence that is a factor of her attractiveness leading to the loss of her childlike innocence. Oryx whilst in the care of Uncle En is never physically harmed and its because of this that Uncle En is idolized as her protector and savior.

Uncle En's idolization is cemented in his death and Oryx's sexual exploitation reaches a new level when an unnamed man takes over and forces Oryx into making movies.
The type of Movies that Oryx was forced to make was never explicitly stated but the impending sexual overtones of her childhood insinuate the sexual nature of these movies.

The story of Oryx's childhood ends with the admission the she exchanged sexual favors for English lessons with Jack the cameraman. this could be seen as the final death of Oryx's childhood as she describes her sexual exploitation as a means of trade in order to progress.

Although Oryx has gone through a harrowing ordeal in being sold as a young child, she manages to see the positive aspects that resulted from this life trajectory. For one, she is surrounded by people she cares deeply about, has a job that she believes in, and is able to speak English. None of these would have been likely to happen if she had not been sold as a child. Jimmy on the other hand, is outraged at her ordeals. His anger reflects on his inability to cope in difficult situations, a quality that has followed him around since the advent of his own childhood traumas. Crake remains mostly silent on these issues. Together, these three main characters symbolically represent different elements of humanity that come to play in the destruction of mankind. In other words, each provides a lesson on the dangers of extremes and serves as an ongoing source of conflict in the text.