The Power by Naomi Alderman Book Review
The Power by Naomi Alderman is a novel which illustrates life in a matriarchal society where men come to realize women can produce electricity from their hands to electrocute them with. In this world, men become inferior to women. A character I am going to be focusing on in this essay is Roxy who is the daughter of a British crime boss and uses her power to influence others. In this essay, I am going to be introducing three events where Roxy experienced a turning point. These involve Roxy’s mother’s death, Roxy killing her mother’s killer Primrose, and Roxy selling her drug, glitter in Bessapara.
The Power starts off with the death of Roxy’s mother. At 9.30 in the evening two men barged into Roxy’s house and killed her mother. No one knew what was going on but the only clue to what had been the cause was Roxy's Dad. Roxy’s Dad was a British Crime Boss who must’ve done something which triggered his rivals to come after his family, resulting in the loss of his wife. The death of Roxy’s mother represents a turning point in her life because she depended on her mother while her Dad was out and about causing trouble on the streets. On page 11 we see the quote “Roxy is fourteen. She’s one of the youngest, and one of the first.” Despite her mother’s death, Roxy was able to push through. This quote shows that Roxy was the youngest and first to either experience a traumatic loss or have power. The author Naomi Alderman wrote this scene to show us the effect of Roxy losing her mother. It was a turning point for Roxy as she was the youngest and she was still under the guidance of her Mother.
The second event we are introduced to is the event when Roxy killed Primrose in revenge for her mother. Primrose was one of the murderers who killed Roxy’s mother and arrived at the warehouse where he was lured by his close friend Weinstein to meet Bernie. At the warehouse Roxy sees Primrose and remembers her mother's death and how the men accountable were Primrose and his men. She remembered crystal clear the day Primrose and his men came into her house and killed her Mum. This is why as Primrose tried to escape the scene Roxy used her power to stop him from escaping. By zapping his ankle she was able to burn his flesh and catch him. On page 53 it says “This is the only thing worth having. She puts her hand to Primrose’s temples. And she kills him.” Roxy’s anger and yearning for revenge defeated her, making her kill Primrose by putting her hands on his temples and shooting him. This represented a turning point for Roxy because it was her first time killing someone with her power. The author, Naomi Alderman used this scene to show Roxy’s anger towards her mother’s killers and her anger getting the best of her. It was a significant turning point as this situation enabled Roxy to avenge her mother and understand the lengths of her power.
In Chapter 19 we learn about Roxy setting off to Bessapara where she proceeded to sell a drug she created called glitter. The purpose behind this drug was to enhance the strength of women and to make them hyped. Roxy’s product attracted many girl customers and increased her profit, making her powerful. On page 160 it says “But she likes doing it herself. Feeling the paper under her fingertips. Watching her decisions turn into maths turn into power. Roxy’s decision to move to Bessapara to sell glitter was an important decision as it was going to impact her life in a positive or good way. When she moved to Bessapara and saw her business thrive she realised her life had changed. She was now an independent provider and had made her family along with her, the main providers of glitter. Her family were also printing money although it was against the law to further Roxy’s glitter drug. This was a huge turning point for Roxy as she was following the footsteps of her Dad and she was now her own boss. She was now exposed to the life of her Dad and how being careful was the only way to stay safe. Also associating herself with different sorts of people opened her eyes up to the world. If it were not for the different people equipped by her Dad, she wouldn’t be able to operate a smooth program.
Overall from the events experienced by Roxy and how these experiences enabled a turning point, we learn about Roxy’s fighting spirit. Despite her mother's tragic loss in which she experienced her last moments, Roxy was still able to pull through and live life. As Roxy became more aware of her mother's killers she operated along with Bernie and his sons who were at the time planning to trap Primrose in their warehouse. Although the result was unfortunate in the loss of Bernie’s son, Terrie, Roxy was able to execute her plan on Primrose by killing him. Roxy becomes more aware of her abilities as she moves to Bessapara to promote and sell her drug, glitter. At Bessapara she learns about the power of money and starts to understand her father’s lifestyle of being a kingpin.