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Oryx And Crake: A Modern Day Frankenstein

1832 words - 7 pages

In the novel Oryx and Crake, and the classic Frankenstein, the main characters share very similar characteristics. Both Crake and Victor Frankenstein try to create a new human race which eventually leads to disaster. Also, they childishly refuse to take responsibilities for their mistakes. Even though the two books were written almost 200 years apart, it goes to show that the same problems that affected Victor in 1817 are still affecting the society of the future in which Crake lives in. The embedded Frankenstein story in Oryx and Crake suggests that Crake is a Dr. Frankenstein who refuses to take responsibility for his creations.

Crake and Dr. Victor Frankenstein share many similarities, which are shown by their actions. Both Crake and Victor try to create a new race of people. Crake creates the Crakers, and Victor creates a monster. Neither Crake nor Victor realize what they are getting themselves into. In Crake's case, he wants to create a community of pure and innocent people; he strives for a world better then the one he lives in. In order to do this Crake does not teach the Crakers about war or any other brutal aspects of the modern society he lives in. Crake does not give the Crakers the knowledge of social status or competition against each other. For example, "Hierarchy could not exist among them, because they lacked the neural complexes that would have created it." (Atwood 305) Crake goes on to say, "there was no territoriality: the king-of-the-castle hard-wiring that had plagued humanity had, in them, been unwired." (Atwood 305) Crake takes what he believes are the problems of the society he lives in and applies that to make the Craker's life better then the one he lives in. As for Dr. Frankenstein, he realizes right away that the creation of another human race was a bad idea. Unlike Crake, Victor does not destroy the already existing human race before he tries to create another one. By doing this, it foreshadows the troubles in the book that are to come. Victor's love for new sciences and interest in things undiscovered is what drives him to create his monster. Victor becomes obsessed with the creation of life. "I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." (Shelley 46) The main problem with Victor's creation of the monster is that he one, abandons it as soon as it comes to life; and second, Victor did not think of all possible things that could go wrong, or plan very well for the catastrophic project he was taking on. Even though the outcome of Crake and Victor's actions may not have had a positive impact on the society they lived in, neither of them intended their projects to end with the negative and tragic effects that they both did.

In Frankenstein, Victor is given another chance by the monster to create a second monster, or be killed. Even though in the end Victor backs down from his creation of the second monster, at first he accepts the proposal. "I...

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