We also see the struggle of survival when it comes down to human vs.
Inspiring readers to pay more attention to the world around them, Atwood offers cautionary notes about the environment, bioengineering, the sacrifice of civil liberties, and the possible loss of those human values which make life more than just a physical experience.
As the novel opens, some catastrophe has occurred, effectively wiping out human life.
Only one lonely survivor and a handful of genetically altered humanoids remain, and they are slowly starving as they try to adjust to their changed circumstances.
Snowman, the lone survivor, is an ordinary young man, who "does not know which is worse, a past he can't regain or a present that will destroy him if he looks at it too clearly.
His mother, after expressing her dismay at her husband's "sacrilegious" interference with the building blocks of life, disappears from Jimmy's life one day while he is in school, attacking her husband's and her own computers with a hammer in an effort to keep the CorpSeCorps security agents from tracking her on-line activities.
Jimmy's best friend in high school is Glenn, known later and throughout the book as Crake, and together they pass their unsupervised afterschool hours playing computer chess, visiting on-line pornographic web sites, and practicing realistic computer games, like "Barbarian Stomp" and "Blood and Roses," in which players fight to the death on-line, the winner sometimes inheriting, not surprisingly, a virtual wasteland.
At one point, while surfing adult web sites, Jimmy observes a child he believes is about eight years old, staring at the camera. He sees her again, years later, when her picture becomes the portal for another web site.
And eventually he meets her in person and falls in love with her. This is Oryx, a mysterious character who plays a key role in his life and in the disaster which eventually unfolds. Life for Jimmy is challenging even before the mysterious catastrophe occurs. People "lucky" enough to be hired by scientific research companies live in company Compounds, which provide for one's every need while controlling one's existence; less fortunate people live in the "pleeblands," devastated cities where survival is the main concern and chaos reigns.
Life on earth, both in the Compounds and the pleeblands, has deteriorated over the years. The earth's natural aquifers are salty, the permafrost has melted, methane is oozing from the tundra, and droughts have turned the plains to deserts around the world. A volcano in the Canary Islands has created a tidal wave, devastating the beaches and eastern cities.
The Everglades have burned for three weeks, and Lake Okeechobee is now reduced to a mud flat. However bleak Jimmy's early experiences may have been, these were the "good times," compared to what he is now facing. Now known as Snowman in a post-disaster world, he is living on a platform in a tree to stay clear of wolvogs, dangerous feral carnivores, part wolf, part dog.
Wearing a dirty bedsheet as a cape and a one-lensed pair of sunglasses to protect himself from the sun, Snowman scavenges for food, collects rainwater in old beer bottles and tries to care for the "Children of Crake" and the "Children of Oryx.
Previously confined to the laboratory, they are foraging at large after the mysterious disaster, and though they are innocent and vulnerable to predators, they have fewer problems finding food than Snowman does -- all they need is grass, weeds, or seaweed.
As they look to him for protection and explanations of the world, Snowman finds himself recreating the Genesis story from the perspective of his current predicament: Crake and Oryx are the gods who have created them, he says.
And Oryx and Crake have sacrificed themselves so that their children might live. Atwood's primary goal here is not only to entertain her audience but to anticipate and describe the global horror of a devastated environment and its implications for mankind. Using current environmental and scientific experimentation as her starting points, she extrapolates into apocalyptic fantasy, creating an eerie world which is still recognizably close to our own.
Alternating between the unnamed disaster in which Snowman finds himself at the outset of the novel and his flashbacks to his youth and early adulthood with Crake, she brings a dismal future-world to life, saving the explanation of the catastrophe which wrought this devastation till the end.
This may annoy some readers, who may become impatient waiting to find out what caused the devastation which exists in the opening scene. Conflict and tension are keys to reader involvement, but here the reader involvement is based more on the suspense which arises from information withheld than from any real conflict.
And since Snowman is, he thinks, the only man left alive, the conflict we see in Snowman's present is his conflict with the environment in his desire to stay alive. This makes it difficult for Atwood to maintain the dramatic excitement and intense reader involvement for which she has been noted in previous novels.
Here the reader stays involved primarily because of the unusual descriptions of a strange world and the suspense associated with Snowman's eventual outcome.
Characters here are not as important as message.
Crake is the anti-hero, remote and distanced, both from Jimmy and from us.Need help with Chapter 1 in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis.
Atwood's world in Oryx and Crake focused on the worries of genetic engineering, cloning and the inherent danger society fears as these technologies develop.
The narrative had such great potential but falls short of greatness. Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the Booker prize.
Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake: he novel Oryx and Crake was written by Margaret Atwood in She classifies this novel in the genre of speculative fiction, this means that she observes the society of today and chooses to showcase the consequences of these problems in a future society.
Oryx and Crake Summary. Harvest v. Humanity: Can We Move past the Desire for Profit? In the development of drugs and scientific ways to improve the lives of the general public there is the constant struggle in society to make money, grow companies and make new products to .
Dna and Genetic Engineering Essay. Discussion Question Write Up Book: Oryx and Crake written by Margaret Atwood Passage: “The rakunks had begun as an after-hours hobby on the part of on of the OrganInc biolab hotshots.