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Self Discovery In Margaret Atwood’s Oryx And Crake

2154 words - 9 pages

How does one go about discovering the veiled mysteries of oneself? First and foremost, what is the self? The self is who we are as an individual. It is the ethics, beliefs, values, opinions, thoughts, actions and everything that one does. Knowing oneself is also knowing what one desires out of life, ones goals and aspirations. External appearances have very little to do with the self.
“Oryx and Crake” is a novel by Margaret Atwood that demonstrates how certain intriguing, distinctive characters develop themselves. Her novel demonstrates how there is no simple way of discovering oneself, but rather a combined method. Margaret Atwood’s book Oryx and Crake demonstrates that both the constituted and atomistic methods of self-discovery must be practiced to fully understand oneself. The captivating characters and people in her book Oryx and Crake demonstrate this.
The constituted method is when one discovers themselves through others. There is a false way and an effective, true way to discover oneself in a constituted manner. The false way of self-discovery is copying other people’s sense of self. (Their beliefs, opinions, actions… etc.) The other more effective method would be to learn from the experiences of others, and to learn from who they are. It is taking the self-understanding from others and deciding what to accept as one’s own self-understanding. Ultimately, the decision of the ideas to believe or reject must be made by the individual.

The Atomistic way of discovering the self is to look into oneself. It is discovering oneself through self-analysis and learning through one’s own experiences. The discoveries and sense of self-developed in this manner are unaffected by the people around the individual.
The novel “Oryx and Crake” takes place is the not-so-distant-future, in America. America is divided into the Pleeblands and the Compounds. The Pleeblands are for normal people, but have a vast amount of violence, drugs, and illegal activity in them. The Compounds are a place for extraordinarily perspicacious humans like bioengineers and genetic engineers. The compounds are artificially clean, and protected by the paranoid, armed “CorpSeCorps” men.
The novel literally begins at the end, when there appears to be only one surviving human left, who calls himself “Snowman”. He lives in a tree, wears an old bed sheet, and is slowly starving to death. Snowman poetically observes the powerful smoldering sun, the daily storms, twisters, mutated animals, the absence of any snowfall and the nullified human life. The land is rampant with spliced, violent, out-of-control animals like the Snat, (Snake and rat), the pigoon, (Pig and baboon), and the wolvog. (Wolf and dog) The story leading up to these disasters can be observed through Snowman’s deteriorating scraps of memories.
Snowman was once a little boy named Jimmy, who lived with his parents in a compound called OrganInc. OrganInc contrasts with organic, because they used xenotransplation and...

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