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.

–Negative Nancy

~ by rebeccalhunt on February 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “Why “Little C” is more than a little creepy.”

  1. I think you really hit the nail on the head. Why on earth would these friends of hers think it is a good idea to clone her lover and leave it? Their intentions may be good, but are they really being good friends? I would think it would be more torturous to watch and raise someone who looks like your lover, but is not your lover, than to live without them and savor the memories. I think these friends are tormenting far more than helping.

  2. I know you touched on this in the original post, but I think grief makes this a little more understandable. Rest assured, I do not stand behind this behavior or think it’s the least bit acceptable, but I do understand that loss and grief can make you do crazy things. The desire to get a loved one back, not matter the means is understandable if it would work for sure.

    What gets me is that she didn’t suspect the failure. In spite of the fact that she wanted to recreate her husband, she was pleased when she nurtured in him a love for the arts. He wasn’t bored at the opera, and he learned to create music on his own. All of this pleased her, even though this trait was completely foreign to Big C.

    I can’t figure out her take on the cloning process. Although it was her intention to have her husband back, she tried to improve him and didn’t expect it to change him at the core. I could see this becoming a real problem if cloning becomes marketable, because people will want to pick and choose the good, while leaving the rest the same.

    -K. Adams

    • I agree entirely that her desire to compensate for her loss is entirely understandable.

      To your other point, I think that at first she was excited that Little C took such an interest in the arts, but I think that she does quickly begin to express some anxiety over the initially small differences between Little C and Big C. For instance, when Little C expresses that he likes the color green. Perhaps her excitement that this clone could not only replace her husband, but improve upon him left her temporarily blinded to what these small differences implied? Just a thought. She did after all begin to realize that these small differences could mean that Little C was becoming too different from Big C when he tells her that he likes the color green.

      It seems like the point Little C brings up is the old question of nature versus nurture, and that if cloning were to ever become marketable the problem people would encounter would be finding that the clones only vaguely resembled the original person as even slight changes in the environment create entirely different characteristics.
      –Negative Nancy

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: