This book is up there with anything written by Huxley and Orwell. If anything, it's scarier, because to me it seems like science fact not science fiction - these events could really happen. Oryx and Crake is the first novel in what Atwood intends to be the "Mad Addam" trilogy (Mad Addam is a reference to the Gardener characters in her books Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. Atwood has hinted at a final installment for a year or so now.).
No discussion on Oryx and Crake is complete without mention of Atwood's follow up Year of the Flood. For a 73-year-old, Atwood writes some of the most realistic and banging sex scenes I've ever read. How she can write so convincingly as a futuristic stripper/hooker is beyond me, but she does.
The trilogy crackles with a gleeful inventiveness that is sometimes tonally at odds with its apocalyptic content: the Crakers’ skin cells have been modified to repel ultraviolet rays and mosquitoes, for example, and the capacity for sexual jealousy has been edited out of their genome.One evening in Toronto, Atwood invited me to her home, where we sat in its spacious kitchen on tall stools at a counter, overlooking her wintry, barren-looking garden.
The books depict a North American landscape that is ravaged by ecological disaster and inhabited by a genetically modified race of quasi-humans, the Crakers.
Develop your own original topic and thesis for Oryx and Crake. Ensure that your thesis statement is contentious (i.e. it states an opinion that is not readily obvious) and workable in the allotted time and space limitations.
Jimmy's was Thickney, after a defunct Australian double-jointed bird that used to hang around in cemeteries, and — Jimmy suspected — because Crake liked the sound of it as applied to Jimmy.
On page 206 of Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake, protagonist Jimmy wonders, “Why is it he feels some line has been crossed, some boundary transgressed? How much is too much, how far is too far?” Atwood asks this question not only about the happenings in her fictional world but also about our society in the 21st century.
Your job will be to answer this question, using evidence from the story as well as making connections to science and technology in the world today.
Your essay should be 6-8 pages in length and should have at least 4 outside resources (evidence from the real world, literary criticism on Atwood’s novel, interviews with Atwood herself, etc).
You may choose to approach this essay from any angle you would like: maybe you will argue that no line has been crossed, that society is moving in the right direction and that on fatal decision changed everything in Oryx and Crake rather than a string of scientific developments. Perhaps you’ll argue instead that a line HAS been crossed, that in both the novel and in society, we are playing God and that only pain and suffering can result from destroying nature. You might choose a third option and argue that a line MAY have been crossed in the novel but that no such line has been crossed in the real world.
Again, the choice is yours to make, but you do need to address the question both in terms of the text and in terms of real life.
Crake said that with digital genalteration you couldn't tell whether any of these generals and whatnot existed any more, and if they did, whether they'd actually said what you'd heard.
In MLA format, write an essay about Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake based on one of the following writing prompts. Remember to include a topic sentence and thesis statement near the beginning of your essay and provide ample support for your assertions. Also be sure to properly reference your quotations and sources, and to include a “Works Cited” page at the end of your essay.
Consider the role that “God” plays in the text. Crake had attempted to eliminate the need for deities in the Crakers, yet that need still manifested. Why is this the case? As usual, Crake rationalizes his justification, but these rationalizations rarely satisfy Jimmy. Unfortuantely, Jimmy sometimes has trouble articulating himself and is often unable to effectively counter Crake’s arguments. Using specific examples from the text, try to explain why the Crakers rely on mythology in order to understand the world around them.
One of the major thematic conflicts in the novel is that between morality and capitalist gain (that of profit). Discuss where one ends and the other begins. Capitalism has brought about many technological and cultural advancements, but at what cost? What happens in the world of Oryx and Crake when capital interests are allowed to develop unhindered by morality and ethics? Who’s to blame for this? What’s the real motivation here? How is Crake able to distribute the BlyssPluss pill?
Discuss the relationship between simulacra and reality in the novel. Do you think that simulacra is contributing to the loss of the real, or that simulacra, in a certain way, is real? How do Jimmy and Snowman use simulacra in their day to day lives? How do the Crakers use it (especially at the end)? In the novel is simulacra beneficial or detrimental?