Social Separation In Oryx And Crake

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Social Separation in Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake is not only a work of science fiction and fantasy, but a speculation as to the way in which our world may turn out if we continue to make dangerous choices as a society. Atwood explores the idea of how far we will take the idea of separating people by class and she also enters into how our abilities and education will shape the way we live. Most importantly however, she has created an extremist point of view of the class system. It is imperative to explore the ways in which people are separated by class in this novel because it can be seen as a warning of what is to come since there are already so many parallels in her tale with today’s society.

The world that is portrayed
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Jimmy and Crake started out in the same compound growing up, but Jimmy was a “word” person and Crake was a “numbers” person. In their fictional world, the main emphasis in society is placed on science and numbers and everything else gets pushed to the side. This includes the arts and literature aspects of their society. In "The Terror Of The Theraputic," Stephen Dunning states that, “As the quantitative technological society advances, it reduces both our need of, and capacity for, linguistic subtlety, emotional precision and nuance, indeed for all those skills that permit and preserve fulfilling, embodied collective human existence.” Upon graduation, Jimmy goes to the Martha Graham Academy, which is not seen as a good school, while Crake goes to the Watson-Crick Institute. They already have their lives mapped out for them right after graduation from high school based on the college that they will attend. When Jimmy arrives at school he sees that there is poor security and the living conditions are substandard. Jimmy also says that, “The Academy had been set up by a clutch of now-dead rich liberal bleeding hearts from Old New York as an Arts-and-Humanities college at some time in the last third of the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the Performing Arts- acting,…show more content…
Comparing the way that our society is now to the way that it could be in the future may be a sobering thought for some people, and perhaps Margaret Atwood is telling us that if we continue to live our lives in such a way we could end up like the people in the novel. It is unwise to place such a high premium on some people and think absolutely nothing of others based on their place in society. The people in the compounds do not care what happens to the people in the pleeblands, but they fail to realize that they all live in the same place, and that they are all people. Even though they may not see it, they are all connected in some way. While they may try to fight it, sooner or later they will realize that it is true, and that everyone’s ultimate fate is
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