The following paper examines Robin Cook’s style and conflicting tone in Mutation.
This paper looks at Robin Cook’s uses of tone, or rather, two distinct tones that he applies to address the reader. This essay also looks at the way in which he aims at two aspects of our personalities– scientific detachment versus human concern. By using conflicting tones, Cook ensures that the reader does not take sides.
“Victor Frank is a biotechnologist whose career is based on creativity through objectivity. Marsha, on the other hand, is a psychiatrist who deals with problems of the human psyche “a subjective endeavor” open to interpretations. The tone that Robin Cook sets is how both parents deal with the issue of their gifted son’s unusual development.Throughout the narrative, Marsha is concerned about VJ’s lack of emotion: “…he has so few friends; (p. 32)” or, “she suddenly pictured VJ pulling away from her embrace, looking at her coldly, his blue eyes frigid as mountain lakes. (p. 66)” Such instances, and there are several dispersed throughout the narrative are a combination of a mother’s love and a psychologist’s eye. Her concerns are exacerbated when she discovers that VJ’s exceptional abilities make him, besides unemotional, cruel and megalomaniacal.”