Chapter 3 of The Windup Girl was hard for me to read. I actually stopped reading for a while after the first half of this chapter, to let myself sit and think on what just happened and the role it was supposed to play in the narrative of the story. It was brutal, jarring, and it took me far out of my comfort zone. If it had been a film or show, I’d have shut the TV off the second the assault started to take place and probably have not turned it back on for a while, but as it was not I read on as the actions taken towards Emiko grew more and more laden with violation. It showed just how awful her situation is, and it made me wish she’d get some form of revenge on those who hurt her.
A line that really struck me when reading was “Is it because she lacks the will to die? Or because she is too stubborn to allow it?” (39), because to me, it says a lot about Emiko’s thoughts and her psychological state. She does not wish to exist if she is only to be used as an object of pleasure, which she has to respond to regardless of how this ‘pleasure’ is reached, and she even wishes to be killed so that her suffering will end. Yet there is a part of her that wants to keep going, to find that spot out there where she is not forced into doing what she does not wish to. Her thoughts are contradicted and therefore negate each other, leaving her stuck like she is now, in debt and in a situation that no one should be forced into.
So far, Emiko’s character and story-line have me the most interested, mainly because I want to know if she will find that happiness that she so longs for with other New People. As she seems to be the windup girl that the title talks about, I hope to see her narrative play out more. I don’t know how hopeful I should be for this, however, as a part of me fears that her goal to be happy among those like her will take a sideline role to a romantic relationship developing with Anderson- which I don’t see myself being a fan of at this moment.
Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Windup Girl. San Francisco: Night Shade, 2009. Print.