Friday, 12 January 2018

Final Novel Study Blog Post- The End of Oryx and Crake

Strange to think of the endless labour, the digging, the hammering, the carving, the lifting, the drilling, day by day, year by year, century by century; and now the endless crumbling that must be going on everywhere. Sandcastles in the wind (P. 45).

That quote is how Snowman describes his home town. All of it crumbling away. I think that line was my favorite line in the whole book. I remember thinking how much I liked that metaphor. It puts a very vivid picture in my mind about the conditions Snowman has to live in.

Oryx and Crake jumbled my thoughts a little bit. I knew people had different, powerful perspectives but intentionally making people suffer is something that I don’t understand at all.
From the evidence in the book, it looks like Crake’s life was fantastic until his dad died. However, his dad was one of his “test subjects” for JUVE and he killed him but made it look like some sort of natural accident. As far as I know, nothing bad happened in his past that is influencing him now. From the looks of it, he shouldn’t have anything to be disappointed or angry about because he brought it all on himself.
I say that because usually, in order to do something like that, you need a motive. Something that might of happened in the past or something that is currently happening in the present, something you regret, maybe someone you’ve lost but Crake looked like he had a great life and any pain he had, he made it himself.

This book had its action packed moments and its moment where not much was happening. Since the book was moving backwards, trying to develop feelings for the characters was more difficult. You thought you knew a character inside-out when reading one page and then you would flip the page and something would change.

Personally, I like books that are packed with action and that jump straight into the plot. This book was more slow moving and eases you into the characters not necessarily in a confusing way, but it certainly made it harder to understand. It didn’t introduce what happened to the world until between 60% and 80% of the book.

It was a fairly difficult read because of the 2 time zones switching back and forth. It was the same character but snowman (the character in the present) was reflecting on his past (when he was Jimmy).

I would recommend this to people that can really get into a book without it having a lot of action. Also for people that enjoy slower paced books, this would be a good read. It did trigger a lot of emotions very suddenly and made you sympathize with the characters throughout the book. People that enjoy (and pay attention to) the writing of a book would love this book because the figurative language was amazing.

I think another book that could possibly fit into this world issues category is Station Eleven. I know that recommending a book that I haven’t even read yet is a bit bizarre but it looks like a great book nonetheless. To summarize it in a few sentences:  Set 15 years in the future, a plague wipes out almost the entire world in just 2 weeks.
It’s all about what people will do to survive and how they interact with each other when the world is crumbling beneath their feet.

Here is the link to the official summary:

I wouldn’t normally choose a book like this but now that I’ve read the first book, I need answers to my questions.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

100% Finished- Done the Book but the Questions Continue

When someone has the intention to wipe out almost all living organisms on earth, is there any way you can still think of them as a good person?

I didn’t know what to think of Crake in the beginning of the story because there wasn’t much background information about him and since the story basically moves backwards, Crake’s identity was shown better near the end of the book.

I decided to make an office for Crake because when I think of Crake, I think of all the work he had to do to create the virus that destroyed all of humankind and of the expensive schools that he got into.

The thing that your eye probably will go to first is the massive, colorful rug taking up about a quarter of the page. I know it looks like a whole bunch of colors messily jumbled together with little barriers in between them and that’s exactly what it is but I wanted it to look messy because even though I said that Crake is a very well put together character, my opinion of him and my emotions when reading about him were all over the place. There were a lot of mixed feelings. I didn’t (and still don’t) know what to think about Crake. Right now, I have no knowledge of what Crake was thinking when he was making the virus and killing Oryx in front of Jimmy. It might be in the second or third book but as of now, I don’t know.

Above the rug, there is a massive white desk in the centre of the page. I put the desk in the middle of the page because Crake was the antagonist and in every book the antagonist is essential to the story. I made the desk white because, to me, white in a room makes something look clean, well-put-together, and makes something look neatly organized. Crake came off as a very simple character in the beginning which is why there is a lot of white in this drawing (including the walls), because white is a simple color.

Right behind the desk, there is a big black desk chair. To me, it represents Crake. Crake turned out to be a truly evil person. He was nice in some parts of the book but that was like a mask to hide his intentions to make a whole new “human” race. He killed Oryx right in front of Jimmy.  When he killed Oryx (p.329), it sounded like it was against her will because when Oryx called Jimmy before Crake killed her, she was crying and kept repeating that she was sorry and she didn’t know that Crake had bad intentions. On page 325, the book says:

Oryx was crying. This was so unusual Jimmy was rattled by it. “ Oh Jimmy,” she said. “I am so sorry. I didn’t know”.

I put the chair in the middle of the room because it comes with the desk and the book made it seem like he could control anything that he wanted, including human kind.

I added a white bookshelf to the side of his office because Crake went to schools that required a very high amount of knowledge and skills. He must have had to study throughout his childhood and adulthood to have the skills to make a virus that wipes out all of humankind. The laptop in the centre of the desk is also connected to the information he used when creating the virus (JUVE). The information was the centre of the virus and since Crake made it, I put it on top of his desk.

On the bookshelf there are mostly textbooks for his studying to get into the schools that he wanted. A few of the books are fantasy and fiction books where he got his idea to “solve” the human population crisis.

On the second shelf, there is a picture frame. You can’t really see it in the drawing because it’s very small but Oryx is in the picture frame because the book describes her as Crakes first love and I think that Crake did really care for her because at one point he says this:

“would you kill someone you loved to spare them pain?” (p. 320)

I think that the person he loved was Oryx.

On the bottom shelf of the bookcase there is a little, locked wooden box. This represents how Crake had many many many secrets but had to keep them all locked up in a very tiny box to make sure that no one would find out.

Behind his desk there are 4 posters. The 2 on the right are a poster of a video game called Galaga and another called Zelda. Since this book is either set in the future or an alternate universe (doesn’t say) they probably haven’t heard of these games but when they were kids, it mentions them playing a variety of video games such as Extinctathon. Extinctathon is an online game that requires immense knowledge to past the game and become something called a Grandmaster. Crake ,a Grandmaster himself, gathered the other Grandmasters from around the world and persuaded them to come work for him even though they didn’t know that they were signing up for destroying almost every organism with a beating heart on earth.

The 2 posters on the left are of space. One of them is Jupiter. Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system and Crake had some really big ideas. The other poster is a shooting star. This is because whenever he thought of something clever or another idea, I would imagine a lightbulb over his head but I wanted to connect it to space, because these ideas would come out of nowhere, so I made it a shooting star.

Right above the posters, there are 2 little windows. The windows are really small because I feel like Crake wasn’t considering every perspective and he only saw the world through his own lenses. He might have thought he was doing it for the better of the world but if he was going to kill all humans on earth, why not make the virus a painless death? Why did he make it so the people suffered before they died?

The final thing in the room is a trash can full of papers. I put that there because in the book it says that Crake has had a lot of trial runs that were disasters and he abandoned them. The trash can also represents some of his ideas. The idea to kill every single human on earth just because of an overpopulation problem seemed a bit much considering all of the technology they have now.

Did Crake make the virus for his own purposes or did he have the intention to help humankind?

Sunday, 7 January 2018

80% Finished- Rewritten Perspective

“From time to time he looks over his shoulder. The smoke is still there, just the one column of it. It hasn’t spread. It keeps on rising (p.280)”

That smoke is from other survivors who escaped during the Juve (Jetspeed Ultra Virus Extraordinary (p.341))breakout. Snowman has been alone for many, many years and now sees smoke from a man made fire ,which he knows, can not have been made by the crakers.

When Snowman gets back from the compound/the place where Juve was made, the crakers tell him that other people have passed by. Other non-genetically modified people. Snowman starts to look for the other survivors in hopes that he can find them.

As of why Juve broke out, its because of Crake. He released a virus and got it to spread across the world killing everyone except for apparently, Snowman and some other people that he doesn't know. Crake wanted everything to be his way and the way he envisioned it.

Oryx and Crake went out now night together to pick up some dinner and then Jimmy gets a call. Its Oryx crying into the phone saying that she didn't know that Crake was planning to kill everyone and then the call got cut (p.325).

Crake returned to Jimmy with a limp Oryx in his hands and slit her throat and Jimmy was filled with emotions like confusion and sadness. Without hesitation, Jimmy shot Crake (p.329).

I rewrote the story from the perspective of the survivors mentioned near the end of the book. Jimmy comes across some other survivors but the book doesn't mention how their encounter goes so I decided to start it off and here's what I came up with: