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Is It Real? Or Is It Just Fantasy?

811 words - 4 pages

In the world we live in, we center our lives around a sable reality, filled with work, education, technology and other people. However, what would happen if our world suddenly changed and human reality became something completely foreign and different? This question is examined in the two post-apocalyptic stories Oryx and Crake and Zone One. The books use mass plague and zombies, respectfully, to delve into our perception of what reality is when the world we know is gone through our use of memories. In doing this, we can examine how memory can be both a haven and an obstruction. Ultimately, the stories convey that we have to find a way to let go in order to move forward through new situations, and through life.
In the story Zone One, we are familiarized with Mark Spitz (nickname), a young man two years removed from his “Last Night”- the night before the zombie apocalypse began. The way the story is setup, we are reading from the point of view of his mind and get a firsthand account of what our main character is thinking. Through this, we see Mark Spitz’ obsession with bringing up his former life before showing up to Zone One, evidenced by the amount of thought tangents he goes on in the middle of doing his daily routine. He rejects this post-apocalyptic reality and would rather think and dream of his days past. Soon he discovers, that he “is just another straggler” (Whitehead, 199). A straggler in this novel is a zombie that retunes to one place and doesn’t move, as though it were a place of great significance in their former lives they couldn’t let go. This is exactly what Mark Spitz had become, he used his past memory as a safe place to go back to as it were all too familiar to him. This is a parallel to what can happen without letting go, we just become like that of the walking dead; living, breathing, but unable to progress forward.
There are similar themes to this concept in the book Oryx and Crake where we are introduced to Snowman, the last human seemingly left alive on Earth. His best friend Crake killed off humanity with a virus and left Snowman in charge of humanoids called “Crakers” made to replace humans. Since a couple of months have passed since the...

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