Importance of Oryx and Crake in an Ethics Class


The narration of Oryx and Crake is very much related with the contemporary persuasion of ethical notions. Since the modern society often gets ambiguous situations in making some ethical decisions, the readings of narratives like Oryx and Crake can help in getting the right decision. This paper concentrates over the importance of Oryx and Crake in an Ethics Class, with reference to the contemporary issues faced by the modern man on daily basis. The approach has been made to identify the means through which Oryx and Crake can provide the right ethical decisions to the contemporary man.  


An absolute global approach has been marked in this particular narrative. The context of internet in itself sums it up. As the internet gats unleashed there are enormous panoply of globalization and opportunities of enjoyment are opened. The references made towards global market that has got everything, from the comfort of one’s personal life to all kinds of consumer consumable goods. With the expansion of the markets; the demand and the supply too increase to a great extent meeting every inch of the population. The issues related to ethical aspects and moral peripheries are all judged through the scopes determined by the global marketing genre. There are scopes for all kinds of immoral practices and these practices are justified under the issues of commodification and commercialization.

The represented in Oryx and Crake is very much involved into the activities related to tolerating and promoting commercialization added by commodification of human life. The society at large also produces an exacerbated distance between the rich and the poor. Dealing with the issues of discriminations and inequalities were the basic characteristic feature of the society presented in Oryx and Crake.  The issues related to commodification of the specified human life and the cases of sexuality in encouraging prostitution are the issues that are elaborated on global context. The references made towards online-child pornography are an unethical issues and Oryx and Crake deals with the same to bring in the awareness among people. There seems to be no room for romance or imagination in Oryx and Crake. Just like the modern world, people here understand nothing more than being professional and self-centric. The novel makes special references to various global issues including the upcoming hurdles of existence. Declarations made by Crake regarding the global insecurities suit the context of globalization at its best. In the words of Crake;

"As a species," says Crake, "we’re in deep trouble … Demand for resources has exceeded supply for decades in marginal geo-political areas, hence the famines and the droughts; but very soon, demand is going to exceed supply for everyone." (p.295)


As Jimmy and Crake keeps on visiting porno websites by means of Uncle Pete’s password, the novel opens up the issue of unethical persuasion of pornography in modern society. As Oryx gets introduced to them through a site called hott totts, the novel shows how Crake even tries to keep it a secret from Jimmy. However Oryx represented the entire online business of prostitution and was available to everyone who can give her a visit. Oryx soon becomes very intimate to Jimmy and Crake. As these boys fall in love with her, she keeps on dealing with them eventually. The concept of love has been though dealt unethically, yet gets justified in terms of being professional. Though she has got the access of both Jimmy and Crake, yet eventually she gets more partial with them. Oryx on one hand has got enough respect for Crake and considers him as a ‘great man’, whereas with Jimmy she is more about affection and fun. Both Jimmy and Oryx hides their relationship from Crake and enjoy the pornographic moments together. Being secretive to the partner is unethical but here Atwood refers to a kind of relationship that is very common to modern man and thus has been dealt as a day to day issue. 

Genetic Engineering

Amidst all kinds of hustle and bustle, Crake manages to gain hold over his interest in genetic engineering and received a prominent position in the predominant biotech corporation. He was authorized to launch personal project. This is an opportunity that Crake was looking forward to have and thus came up with a project called ‘Crakers’. His basic idea was to explore the domains of genetic engineering and to create a very peaceful society. For him this society will be free from the political pressures and will be away from the issues of violence and war. Under his approach he will add the genetic persuasions to make human life more harmonious with nature. He produced genetically engineered humans that are actually leaf-eating herbivores. These creatures are structured to have sexual intercourse only in a particular breeding season, especially when they are into the state of being polyandrous. This approach showed that Crake could actually deal with many of the conflicts involved in human culture.


The novel Oryx and Crake deals with every particular issue of human life. The approach is to justify the need for ethical persuasions in human life. It is through all the relevant topics that Atwood tries to provide the modern man the solution and the resource to attain ethical notions. To justify oneself and being able to accept the justification has been dealt by the author for the realization of being ethical. It is through this novel that the reader tours through all those aspects of human life that really need sot get modified and thus ethically correct.

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