Dystopian Setting In Margaret Atwood's Oryx And Crake

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1. Introduction
‘When any civilization is dust and ashes,’ [Jimmy] said, ‘art is all that’s left over. Images, words, music. Imaginative structures. Meaning – human meaning, that is – is defined by them. You have to admit that.’ (Atwood 197)

In the dystopian setting of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), the humanities have lost their importance. Still, the novel’s protagonist Jimmy knows from an early age that he is not a ‘numbers person’, like his parents (Atwood 29), but a ‘word person’, which becomes evident in the above-mentioned quote and isolates him from most society. Oryx and Crake belongs to the genre of dystopian speculative fiction, meaning that the world Jimmy inhabits is not much unlike the real world, but his story in set in the near future. Moreover, it means that Atwood “takes what already exists and makes an imaginative leap into the future” (Synder 470) by employing the scientific means which were at hand when she wrote the book (Wolter 259). She imagines what could happen if humanity followed the path it is already on, concerning the abuse of scientific progress
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As mentioned in the introduction, the main subject of ecocriticism or ecological criticism is the connection between nature, meaning the environment, and culture, meaning the human world, and how the two influence each other. In ecocritical works, “[t]he question of ‘enough’ is all-important, and one posed by both ecological and fictional literature” (Wolter 265). In Oryx and Crake, Atwood clearly poses this question by depicting scientists who accidentally release genetically modified animals which are a threat to humanity and other animals. The question of ‘enough’ is also asked in relation to Crake, which will further be analyzed in chapter three, part

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