As Margaret Atwood herself put it best, “not real can tell us about real.” Oryx and Crake is a dystopian novel, which plays on the fear of human extinction by the hands of humans themselves. As implausible as it may seem, certain technologies and social developments presented in the novel are not entirely farfetched. This essay will discuss the real life analogue of Atwood’s “perfect” modified human race, and how technological advances in our current world can possibly lead to our loss of morality when it comes to genetic modification. The Crakers are physically beautiful, strict vegetarians, and live peacefully and harmoniously with nature. At first glance this is definitely implausible, but is it really so improbable when we as humans are already able to somewhat “play” around with the genes of unborn babies? Or with the existence of things such as “Soggy Pork”, a lab grown “meat”? Technology is slowly surpassing the point of helpfulness and surely leading to our future demise.
Human Genetic Modification in Oryx and Crake
Glenn, better known as Crake, sets out to build a perfect human race. They are a peaceful people, who are one with nature. In this world within the novel, genetic modification, or GMO, is far from being a concern; it is the norm. The pigoons are a perfect example. A pigoon is a laboratory pig with human stems cells implanted into it, to grow organs of choice. There is no moral objection to this in Crake’s world, with animals such as rakunks and wolvogs being two of many genetically modified animals roaming the earth. Crake may have surpassed their moral limits, but in this world, humans were the next step. Animals were old news, already spliced up as much as possible; naturally, the next step in one’s mind would be to contemplate this technology’s results with humans. Crake took his contemplations and made them a reality.