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247 pages, Hardcover
First published August 31, 2018
The Baby Factory produces humans connected by flesh and blood…This clinically sardonic tone permeates the whole of the novel. At times her and her husband’s takes on society with their own set of buzzwords reads like an annoying conspiracy theorist uncle ruining a family gathering, but under the satirical surface there is a lot of heart to what Murata is conveying. This flat tone to the narration works because Natsuki is not only on the fringe of society but also is a reaction to her life experiences.
Once shipped out, male and female humans are trained how to take food back to their own nests. They become society’s tools, receive money from other humans and purchase food. Eventually these young humans aso form breeding pairs, coop themselves up in new nests, and manufacture more babies.
I’ve stopped hearing the commands that controlled my life. I no longer know what to do or how to live. Obeying those silent orders was how I had always survived.As someone who grew up obedient and easy to manipulate, Natsuki empathizes with this and sees how society makes you a tool that can be discarded, not a valued being of the planet. Even when one is hurting, society always finds a reason to further victimize the victim because it is inconvenient to address societal ills. Upon telling a friend of a rape, the friend chastises her accusing her of playing the ‘tragic heroine’ in an altogether himpathetic moment that reveales how the patriarchal society enforces and perpetuates its power.
Grown ups had it tough, too, I thought. Miss SHinozuka functioned well enough as one of society’s tools, but maybe wasn’t functioning properly as one of society’s reproductive organs.There are acute observations such as this as to the hierarchies of society and how outcasts exist at every level. The sad truth being that this is a system we are all self-perpetuating by existing in it, though leaving it may lead to one’s own destruction.
She was in the position of educating me and ruled over me, but at the same time she herself was also being judged as a tool of society.