When does mankind face the consequences of their complete exploitation of all natural resources? Margaret Atwood reveals in her novel Oryx and Crake the reasons that led to the destruction of the world. Humans are depicted to be the main reason for the end of the world, as human nature is often what pushes them to abuse natural resources and cause irreversible damage, such as trying to deform nature’s work by genetically modifying human DNA for the sake of improving quality of life. The unrealistic urge for an ideal life pushes mankind to the edge of absolute destruction, examples of the exhibition of this urge include human nature to compete, the desire of evolution, and greed. The characters in the novel did not have a sense of realization that the constant revolutionization of societies has a limit that cannot be crossed
without endangering humanity’s entire existence.
The constant desire for evolution has become human instinct in Oryx and Crake, it makes corporations and drug companies redesign products for more efficient, useful, and overall better performance. Innovation also contributes to the idea of having an ideal life because like the corporations in the novel, improving the quality of life is what drives most of their products to success like the Blysspluss pills.
Which had led to the concept of Blysspluss. The aim was to produce a single pill, that, at one and the same time:
would protect the user against all known sexually transmitted diseases, fatal, inconvenient, or merely unsightly;
would provide an unlimited supply of libido and sexual prowess, coupled with a generalized sense of energy and well-being, thus reducing the frustration and blocked testosterone that led to jealousy and violence, and eliminating feelings of low self-worth;would prolong youth. (Atwood 354-355)
This product revolutionizes the whole industry and is thought to be a great success despite its disastrous side effect of causing infertility in humans, which was not advertised. For example products like Blysspluss, chickienobs, and pigoons are successful and this makes advancements on products continue further. Crake attempts to develop humans by creating the Crakers, and believes that for his invention to succeed, it is required to completely overcome any competitors, in this case being humans. Evolution means a positive change to the corporations since it mostly benefits them by making money.
Anyway, maybe there weren’t any solutions. Human society, they claimed, was a sort of monster, its main by-products being corpses and rubble. It never learned, it made the same cretinous mistakes over and over, trading short-term gain for long-term pain. (Atwood 293)
Here Amanda notes humans constant repetition of error, and in this novel the error is most often at the fault of major corporations. But the main goal for many companies is making their wealth increase on behalf of the humans, they disguise their true intentions with seemingly useful products, but in reality those products are harmful and only made for profit.
The love for competition is what makes Crake strive for an ideal life, and his ideal life includes the extinction of humankind. Crake believes them to be the main reason for all the chaos and replacing humans with the Crakers would redeem the world from its chaos.
Extinctathon was pedant you got trapped beside on the school van, in Jimmy’s view. It wouldn’t shut up.
“Why do you like this so much?” said Jimmy one day, to Crake’s hunched-over back. “Because I’m good at it",” said Crake. (Atwood 98)
This quote reveals Crake’s love for games and his competitiveness. Crake’s body language towards the computer shows his dedication to it, his hunched back is an indication of his full attention towards it. For Crake, playing games all depend on one thing, winning. This is significant since the passion for those games is turned into an obsession that is hard to get rid of, Crakes competitive nature pushes him to become an important figure with a genius mind that creates the Crakers, allowing Crake to convince himself that he is winning the most important game, the game of life. Crake considers his greatest achievement to be his project paradise, it is the way he is going to win about saving the earth. “The elimination if one generation. One generation of anything… and it’s game over forever” (Atwood 270). This quote foreshadows Crake’s true intentions about his secret project and the Crakers. It is also ironic that he uses the expression game over to describe the elimination of one generation while he believes demolishing the human race and replacing it with the Crakers is what he considers winning at this game.
Greed pushes a lot of the characters to act out extreme actions. Selfishness always generates greed where it puhes drug companies into disatisfaction with profiting of medicine that eliminates and treats diseases, causing them to create diseases in order to make more cures resulting in a higher profit. “But don’t they keep discovering new diseases? ‘Not discovering’, said Crake. ‘They’re creating them.’ ’who is?’ … ‘HelthWyzer’, said Crake” (Atwood 255-256). This quote shows Crake’s knowledge of the scandal behind HelthWyzer’s business which is significant because this piece of information could give Crake the idea of erasing the entire population by using a similar technique of putting hostile bioforms that release when Crake wants to since HylthWyzer is successful at scamming people on a large dangerous scale. In addition to Crake, Jimmy also was greedy in a sense where he is never satisfied with his life and he is in constant need for more.
His hair was Getting sparser around the temples, despite the six-week AnooYoo follicle-regrowth course he’d done. He ought to have known it was a scam---he’d put together the ads for it---but they were such good ads he’d convinced even himself. He found himself wondering what shape Crake’s hairline was in. (Atwood 305)
This quote shows Jimmy being jealous of when he is finding himself wondering if Crake is having a receding hairline at the same time as wanting to be as successful as Crake, this is ironic since the final outcome of Jimmy Being successful like Crake is catastrophic where Jimmy working with Crake helps Crake put his project of erasing humans off Earth into action.
The need for a perfect life is what leads the human race into a devastating end, examples of causes that lead to such result are the love for competition, the urge of evolution, and greediness of one’s self, where humans never learn from the mistakes of others and go on of making the exact same mistakes.