Animals in “Oryx and Crake”

Crake designs a race of “perfect” “humans” in Oryx and Crake, designed to repopulate the world with their unique race.  They have no body hair, have no sense of love or monogamy, nor the drive for success or even power over one another. Entirely submissive and strange, imagining these creatures as the only inhabitants of earth (other than the “children of Oryx” is strange and utterly incomprehensible.  However, what scared me even more were the imaginary animals that Atwood includes in Oryx and Crake, perhaps because she not only describes them as scary and invasive but also the practical function these animals were created for.  The pigoons of Jimmy’s childhood turn out to be the bane of Snowman’s existence, constantly threatening his well being. I never knew I could be so afraid of a pig! I found these neat illustrations of the animals from Oryx and Crake, and the pigoon is even scarier than I had imagined, yet they eerily fit with Atwood’s description.

Here we finally see an imagination of the biosuits, as well as the scary faces of the pigoons.  Their gigantic size is perfectly in line with Atwood’s vision, I can completely see them breaking down doors and such. The way they chase Jimmy around is so frightening and yet so vivid and I definitely appreciated Atwood’s inclusion of the pigoons in the entire book, almost as further proof of the downfall of the society.  Also are pictures of the “snat” that Atwood describes as a hissing rat figure:

Her play with the glow in the dark animals is humorous as rabbits are seen as plentiful and overly abundant in today’s culture, so it is easy to see them as overpopulated and annoying in the future (though hopefully not glow-in-the-dark).  Atwood’s depiction of these animals is eerie, frightening, yet completely reasonable in the society she seeks to depict.

- Stephanie Mills

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~ by vandysteph on March 21, 2010.

One Response to “Animals in “Oryx and Crake””

  1. Concerning ‘glowing bunnies’. I’m fairly certain Margaret Atwood was inspired by Alba, the fluorescent bunny.
    http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html (scroll down page).
    “Alba”, the green fluorescent bunny, is an albino rabbit. She was created with EGFP, an enhanced version (i.e., a synthetic mutation) of the original wild-type green fluorescent gene found in the jellyfish Aequorea Victoria.

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