The Windup Girl

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Category: Literature

Date Submitted: 11/24/2012 08:22 PM

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The Windup Girl

Global Warming has struck the planet. Ocean levels have been rising so rapidly that pumps have been working continuously to keep land above water, and walls had to be built to keep water out. Humans have used up all the worlds fossil fuels and mostly rely on hand wound devices. The world’s economy is now based on industry instead agriculture. Mega corporations control the world by engineering food, which gradually is destroying the world and its inhabitants through famine and disease. This is Paolo Bacigalupi’s vision of Thailand sometime in the twenty-third century. The Windup Girl takes place in a futuristic wasteland due to the lack of environmentalism in the world and obstinate philosophies of the people who run it.

Petroleum had fueled the world’s economy, and those with it had power. What happens when there is no more petroleum? No petroleum means no power, so the world had to adapt. Instead of taking a step back and growing things naturally, the people of The Windup Girl decided to engineer replacements, which were not nearly as powerful.

This new technology was genetically engineered, and created an addiction to rely on advanced technology to solve problems. People all over the globe are starving. Cibiscosis (a virus in The Windup Girl) and other diseases has mutated and killed a majority of the world’s population. While everyone in the world is starving and dying, the people in Thailand are sitting on a seed bank. The Thai people have been comfortably eating potatoes for the past five years and have now discovered a new, delicious, bug resistant fruit called ngaw. They have separated themselves from the rest of the world in order to survive. People fled to Thailand from all over the world. The Thai hated the Chinese, and made them live in crummy apartments and carry a yellow card with them (similar to the star of David in the times of the Holocaust). The Thai hated the Americans and Europeans more, but tolerated them because of...