Why “Little C” is more than a little creepy.
Ok, so if we ignore the fact that a woman is raising her dead husband’s clone as her child to eventually become her lover, and just pretend for right now that this is normal behavior, we can focus for a second on how that is not even the weirdest part of what is going on here. It really would be one thing if a grief stricken widow had gone temporarily insane with loneliness and brought about the cloning of her husband. Really, I could wrap my head around that because loss is an awful and powerful motivator. Who wouldn’t wish that they could somehow see again a loved one that had passed away? However, that is just not what happened in the short story “Little C”. No, what actually happened was that her friends casually cloned her husband and then dropped that baby clone off at her house like you would a fruit basket.
The narrator also explains her friend’s actions in the most blasé way. It’s basically: Oh, well they saw that I was kind of sad so they gave me a clone to raise and probably remarry… Why does it sound like running home at night to cook up a clone of your friend’s dead husband is a perfectly normal past time in this world? It is the casual attitude of everyone else in this story that I feel like is the most disturbing part of the whole situation. The weirdness does not even end at giving her the clone. Oh no, they also take an avid interest in how the clone is developing. Except, this interest is not just regular interest in a child’s growth and development; it is an interest in how much the clone is starting to resemble the donator of its DNA, and thus by extension, how the wife/adoptive mother’s sexual attraction to her husband/adopted clone child is coming along. Why is that OK? What drastic historical events could have possible occurred in this alternate reality where a cross between pseudo incest and pedophilia is now just water cooler conversation?
Usually dystopian stories about clones tend to focus on how the clones themselves would be treated, and what their quality of life would be. While “Little C” does focus on this issue to some extent, the most striking issue is clearly the relaxed stroll this society has taken across normally taboo areas of relationships and sexuality. Honestly, it made for an interesting, if disturbing, read, and it took a fresh look at a somewhat tired subject, even though the world did seem a little implausibly, well… weird.