The Windup Girl Analysis Essay

Courage in Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl: Fall to Rise Ambrose Redmoon once said, ” Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear”. In Paolo Bacigalupi’s novel, The Windup Girl, this particular quote is pertinent as the symbols, conflicts, and characters in the novel indicate that to be truly free,one must have courage to face one’s fears.

As a result, the symbols in the story show that being able to face one’s fears can give one hope for the future, the conflicts demonstrate that perseverance is required to get what one wants, and the characters show that being courageous can lead one out of dangerous consequences. It is clear that in the story, there are many hardships, but the symbols show that being able to face one’s fears can give one hope for the future. For instance, one of the main characters, Emiko, is one of the New People;an engineered robot who looks human.

However, she has limitations which prevent her from blending in with the crowd, including her porcelain skin; a result of her fine pores. Due to the minuscule pores Emiko has, she tends to heat up at a quick rate and at a high temperature. Consequently, ice is what Emiko usually crunches on to regulate a normal body temperature. When running away from the “white shirts”, Emiko thinks to herself:”Adrenaline and shock… I need water. Ice”(Bacigalupi 200). On a symbolic level, the ice represents Emiko’s hope for the future.

Although the ice is what relieves Emiko from heat and relief from other physical pain, it is what shows her that there is a way out for her from all the daily abuse and disrespect she gets from her coworkers. Accordingly, the ice clearly aids her and demonstrates that she is able to help herself out too if she believes in a better tomorrow. Resultantly, Emiko learns that she has to have hope for her future if she ever wants to get away from her past. Thus, Emiko has already proven this faith as she faces her fear of being killed by the “white shirts” by running away. Apart from this problem, Bangkok has more difficult situations to deal with.

After an epidemic has occurred, “real” food has been difficult to find due to genetic modifications. When Anderson, another protagonist, comes across a fruit by the name of Ngaw, he is not surprised that the piece of fruit is modified to the extreme in order to prevent famine and the food-plague from surfacing again. As Anderson holds the fruit in his hand, “Anderson wishes he could observe the fruit… he is one with paradise” (Bacigalupi 2). Although the fruit is not true to mother nature, it still symbolizes a twisted kind of hope for the future. Ergo, this means that the future may be bright, but it will be a lot more different.

Hope is created because Anderson understands that there is a chance that if people have come up with modified food, then there is surely a way to obtain real food. Due to this, Bangkok would gain several benefits in order to function properly. Thus, it can be said that no matter what happens, being courageous can lead up to one having faith in the future. Although every path that the characters take in the novel leads to a consequence, the conflicts demonstrate that there will always be something in the way of a person’s goals, meaning that they must persevere to obtain what they need.

An example of this can be seen when Emiko is desperate to get out of Bangkok because she has no rights or respect. Regardless of the fact that she is tormented every day by her colleagues, she is not safe either from the rest of the citizens. Unfortunately, this is caused by their detestation toward all New People. While at work, Emiko thinks:”There is a place for New People… where New People dwell in safety, without patrons or masters”(Bacigalupi 153). As of now, Emiko is stuck working for Raleigh, her boss, against her will.

Now that she is aware of a far-away place for New People, she believes that it is her only escape from her current miserable life. Emiko realizes that in order to be content with her life, she must run away in order to get what she wants no matter what obstacles come her way. Another example of a character trying to reach a goal is Anderson who knows that the Environment Ministry can not be trusted because they take bribes to stamp foods that are anti – plagued, just like the Ngaw. In his mind, Anderson concludes:”Most likely she bribed the white shirts… how many Environmental Ministry stamps adorn their produce”(Bacigalupi 3).

Since Anderson is in search of a seed bank, he must know all about the available food. However, that is difficult to do when most foods are falsely certified to say that they are safe. Even though there are some hardships along the way, Anderson, with his curious mind, finds out about all the information he needs to Hence, courage is rewarded when one is determined to achieve their goals. Furthermore, the characters face serious situations multiple times, and they show that negative events can be prevented with the use of courage. For instance, Emiko must run away from Raleigh’s control.

Along the way, Emiko runs into a man who figures out that she is a windup girl and says “‘Show me your import permits. ‘ She smiles. ‘Of course. I’m sure’… to discover which alley hides her as she recovers” (Bacigalupi 254). Despite the fact that Emiko is trained to obey any human’s command, she defies this fact by hurting the “white shirt” and running away. What she has done is extremely daring, but it prevents her from getting into serious trouble with the man, as he has a lot of power. As a result of her courage and ability to face her fears, Emiko is able to live.

Just like Emiko, Anderson, the other main character, has to look in the face of danger when he is taken hostage due to Emiko’s actions. Although his future business partner is responsible for the kidnapping, Anderson decides to remain calm in order to think of a game plan for survival. When Anderson’s partner finds out he is innocent, the partner then thinks it is best if Anderson were killed, because it would prevent problems from erupting. Rather than panicking, Anderson explains to his partner that “revolutions are a rough business, 1 [Anderson] don’t hold a rudge… This is a small misunderstanding that we can undo” (Bacigalupi 306). For obvious reasons, Anderson is trying to persuade his partner not to kill him since Anderson is not upset and is not willing to take revenge. He, Anderson, attempts to use his strong social skills to properly communicate to Pratt that he will be forgiven. In the fear of losing his life, he still needs to keep the deal because it is all Anderson has left to bargain with. Consequently, if one has the courage to stand up to someone, they can be saved from perilous situations.

As the plot proceeds in the story, it becomes evident that there is a lot more depth to what the author is trying to convey. The symbols, conflicts, and characters indicate that if one wants to live their life, they must go out and risk everything to do so. Correspondingly, being audacious can give one faith for the future, help reach personal goals, and prevent problems from occurring. As this novel as a clear example, courage is when one is bold enough to use one’s voice, brave enough to listen to one’s heart, and strong enough to live the life one has always wanted.