90 pages 3 hours read

Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2008

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Themes

Nature, Man’s Relationship with Nature, and Survival

Jenna, a human made up almost entirely of artificial parts, often finds herself surrounded by nature and in the company of those who advocate for the natural world. The first time she leaves her house, she is drawn to the lush greenery of her backyard, and describes the “bright green lichens” (18), the still pond, and the forest of eucalyptus. Mr. Bender, Jenna’s first friend, is an artist who rearranges “‘parts of nature for a short time so people will notice the beauty of what they usually ignore’” (21). Jenna does more than notice nature, she revels in it, and in her darkest moments finds comfort lying on the forest floor (197). The use of Walden further deepens the theme of humankind’s relationship with nature in the novel. Like Thoreau, Jenna discovers herself through observing nature, and seeing the ways she does or does not fit in with the world around her.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is careful not to paint too pretty a picture of nature and humankind’s effect on it, however. In Jenna’s time, huge earthquakes have destroyed large parts of California; drug-resistant bacteria have killed millions of people and human intervention has caused tributaries to become bone-dry ravines.

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