What’s the Point?

In Magaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, Crake tries to create a new race of human beings that he believed would be perfect. They wouldn’t suffer from sexual dissatisfaction, they would have no fear of death because they wouldn’t know when they might die, they would just drop dead all of the sudden. They would have no interest in art or religion, they would be free from the chaos that plagued humanity. While Crake tries to justify this mission throughout the novel, I was just left with too many questions to count and a lot of confusion.

The story makes it clear throughout that Crake is beyond intelligent, a point which is reinforced by his ability to clone and modify human beings and create a super-virus that decimates humanity. Furthermore, Jimmy is constantly in awe of Crake’s mind, it’s part of what draws them together. But for all Crake’s brilliance, he still seems to fail in his goal. Toward the end of the novel the Crakers begin to show sign of worship, looking to Oryx, Crake, and even Snowman as holy figures. But all this left me with the question of why Crake even bothered to create this new race. It seems apparent that all of what Crake hated about humanity – the greed, worship, frustration – is central to any intelligent being. Why did he even bother with the Crakers, and not just kill all of humanity?

By taking away everything that makes humans human, Crake essentially just created a new kind of animal. And in fact, in many ways the Crakers take on the characteristics of animals – no ability to read or interest in culture, a complete lack of monogamy, and no conception of death. Furthermore, humanity adopted all of these characteristics over a long period of evolution, shaped by natural and universal laws, so any solution he came up with would inevitably only be temporary. So again, I’m left wondering why Crake even bothered.

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~ by zshrmn on April 15, 2014.

One Response to “What’s the Point?”

  1. I believe Crake and Jimmy are important characters in that they showcase the downfall of society’s emphasis on intelligence over personality. Crake, although highly intelligent, as you said failed. Jimmy fulfilled his task, because that’s who he is as a person.

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