Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oryx and Crake

"Oryx and Crake", written by Margaret Atwood is a disturbing futuristic piece that could actually be feasible if people decided to "develop" the world in that way. Bioengineering is at the center of society in this novel and slowly bioengineering goes from bettering the genetics of animals and plants to totally eliminating humans as a race. The "Crakers", Crake's species that are his idea of perfection are horrific considering that they are not individuals any longer and they all have the same faults- the lacking of knowledge. Everything that was once humanistic, caring, and emotional are no longer in existence because of Crake's experiment and Jimmy/Snowman is sadly the only person to suffer through this apocalypse. The advancements in science are forever developing but in this novel Atwood illustrates the world after all of the advancements have been pursued. Another terrifying thing in this book that I can see relating to today is the secrecy of the government. It's something that most people fear and in this book knowing about the experiments and leaking information results in death. Even the people who felt like they were controlling their subjects were in fact being controlled by the government- and all respectable jobs were government based.
The past for Jimmy is the current day for us and it seems to be completely corrupt with all of the sex, drugs, and the illegal internet games (such as survival games). The future is even more bleak. To be completely honest I found this book to be depressing. Unlike the past sci-fy books/short stories I've read nothing seems to be positive about this futuristic scenario and this book is probably the closest thing to the truth when discussing the future. At the end of the story Jimmy/Snowman finally sees a small group of humans and he doesn't know how to approach them. It never concluded if he interacted with them or not and I think the fear that was instilled in him is of the most pathetic kind- he was scared of his own race!

I actually started a new book over Thanksgiving break called "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and it seems to have correlating themes with "Oryx and Crake" but it's main character, Katniss seems to be more positive even though her situation is also bleak. Katniss is apart of an actual live broadcast game in which she has to kill to survive... and winning is surviving. Her district also bioengineered animals for government use and had poor results. I'm only on page 50 or so of this book but I would highly recommend it as maybe another option to this week's reading.

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