Was that a Brave New World?
When reading Oryx and Crake so much of the world before the genetic disaster reminds me of the life style in Brave New World. Recreationally, there’s pre-programmed fun, so much of which is sexually charged. Sex has as little emotional clout in Oryx and Crake as it does in Brave New World, with the exception of Jimmy and Oryx’s love. Vocationally, the “good jobs” are ones that are designed to further the lives that they currently live; the ones that are about science. The arts are extremely marginalized, and the arts that do survive are computerized or cheapened. A porn star doing Macbeth better than art students – it reminds me of the Feelies.
Also, the main characters of these two books, Jimmy and Bernard, have an uncanny similarity in the sense that they both never really “buy” into the world around them. While both have their lives more or less set up for success, they both have an instinctual divide between themselves and their reality.
It’s scary to see just how much the life styles in Oryx and Crake blur the lines between today’s world and the absurd world in Brave New World. While the trajectories of each story vary a lot, the parallels between the life styles and the main characters cause me to find these books more similar than they seem at first glance.
– Maggie D.