Throughout all 3 novels in the MaddAddam trilogy, there has been an underlying theme of uncertainty within relationships. Moreover, the tension between Zeb and Toby is explored more thoroughly in the third novel.
Zeb showed a similar difficulty with commitment with Ren’s mom Lucerne in The Year After the Flood. Now in this novel, Toby finds herself once again in a love triangle mess, competing with Swift Fox for Zeb. Toby finds herself questioning many of Zeb’s actions and she is constantly on the watch for any signs of connection with him and Swift Fox. And as much as Zeb never provides Toby with a concrete yes or no to her obvious suspicion he does sometimes make it seem as though she has “nothing to worry about”.
I personally believe this is something that is so prevalent today, especially within the younger generations. The meaning of a relationships, for a lack of better words, has completely gone to shits. Younger generations, are so focused on getting set in their careers or spending time experiencing their lives that they forget about settling down and having a steady partner. We’re the generation of change, we always want the newest of everything, the newest iPhones, the newest sneakers, where’s the newest travel destination, we can’t even commit to a steady eating schedule so how are we supposed to commit to one person for the rest of our lives. A better way to put it according to Caroline Beaton is that we’re considered the “hook up generation”.
But back to the key issue at heart, people have become so used to the vicious cycle of getting out of a toxic relationship that has scarred them with trust issues and then never being able to trust a person ever again. It is a seemingly pressing issue when it has literally become normalized for girls and guys to be psycho girlfriends/boyfriends, this has become a phenomena that is seen as normal when in fact it isn’t… AT ALL. What ever happened to good old monogamy
As we see in MaddAddam, Toby seems as though she is afraid to demand a commitment on Zeb’s end, she is even too afraid to ask whether or not he is also fooling around with Swift Fox, “So. Stalemate. It’s for him to know and for her to try to refrain from finding out” (Atwood 220). I believe the same thing is something that often happens with people trying to figure out relationships in todays world.
To leave you off with something to reflect on, beyond all of the obvious social changes, what has fundamentally happened for us to have reached such a broken way of doing the whole relationship thing, I mean really, how have we gotten to this point?
I invite you to read a little beyond my brief analysis through these articles.