Vyme has become an alcoholic and a seemingly unreliable parent through deep-seated anxiety, yet this apparent untrustworthiness contrasts with his profound love and concern for children. This loving compassion is shown when he points out to his procreation group that leaving a twoyear-old boy alone at home all day is dangerous for the child. They do not— perhaps refuse to—understand, hardly surprising since, while he was earning a living at work, the adults in the group left with all the children save one to have a day of fun. This lack of responsible caring for children angers Vyme and motivates much of his behavior throughout the novel. In a society that abuses children when convenient and ignores their welfare most of the time, Vyme loves and tries to protect them.