Oryx and Crake Short Summary
“Oryx and Crake” is a novel by Margaret Atwood. The events occur in a futuristic world in which the key focus of society is scientific innovation, particularly genetic experimentation. This societal obsession eventually allows Crake to ruin human society.
Jimmy, the protagonist, is the sole child of two biological scientists. His mother stops working due to a nervous breakdown, while his father becomes a renowned researcher but fails in his family duties.
During his teenage years, Jimmy’s Mother abandons them. He is socially awkward and only interacts with others during his comedy skits. It is then that Jimmy meets Crake, who shares similar interests. They develop an obsession with a child porn star later referred to as Oryx.
After his education, Jimmy joins the corporate world. He finds it easy to relate with women sexually but difficult to develop genuine intimate connections. He then gives up on romance and later becomes depressed after discovering his mother’s execution for treason.
Jimmy and Crake once again meet. Crake is now a genetic scientist and hires Jimmy to promote a drug (BlyssPlus) that secretly sterilizes users but does not inform him about its effect. Oryx is now Crake’s girlfriend and teacher’s biology to his mutant children. However, Jimmy cannot withhold his attraction to her, and they start an affair.
Later, Crake puts Jimmy in charge of paradise and escapes with Oryx. Soon afterwards, it gets discovered that BlyssPlus is responsible for a global viral outbreak. Crake then slits Oryx`s throat to coerce Jimmy into killing him. Jimmy locks himself at paradise as he watches humans dying. He then decides to find a haven for Crake and changes his name to the Snowman. He moves to an arboretum and monitors Crake for a while before returning to paradise for supplies.
On his way back to the arboretum, Crake informs him that three people like him have visited them. He begins hunting them. The story ends as Snowman is approaching the three survivors at the beach.