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A Summary of Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake written by Margaret Atwood begin by explaining the daily routine of a man by the name Snowman. Snowman lives in outdoors setting near the ocean where he is approached by creatures he refers to as Crakers. The young ones of the creatures approach him as they do every other day but don’t get too close. Snowman thinks that it is because of his smell for not taking a bath for a very long time or they are afraid of him. They ask him questions to understand him as he is different from them in many aspects. Snowman exhibits a tremendous amount of anger towards a man by the name Crake and has encounters with a woman by the name Oryx in his delusions.

Prior the catastrophic situation Snowman is in, he led a normal life and was called Jimmy. Snowman, through his memories we learn that he used to live on a compound that belonged to a company by the name OrganInc where his parents used to work. In his current situation Snowman reaches a point of starvation where he does not have any food to eat and decides to go back to a company that he once worked. He creates a lie to tell the Crakers as he does not want their company in his journey. In his memory trail, we learn that Jimmy’s parents worked in the corporation where her mother quits her job due to the corruption, greed, and experimentation on animals. She eventually leaves taking Jimmy’s pet with her and leaving Jimmy behind. The pet was known as Killer, and it was an animal created in the lab with a genetic combination of a raccoon and a skunk. His father continued working in the company as a geneticist, and after a while, he had an affair with a coworker who was a lab technician by the name Ramona. He later invited her to come and live with her where she stepped in as Jimmy’s mother.

Jimmy’s family then moves to the company owned by the HelthWyzer Company where his father now works as a genographer. It is at this institution that Jimmy meets and becomes friends with a science student by the name Glenn. Jimmy and Glenn spend their childhood playing video games where Jimmy starts calling Glenn Crake as he refers to himself on Extinctathon, one of their video games. They also smoke skunkweed, watch underground videos and child pornography. It is during one of the child pornography views that Jimmy gets attracted to an Asian girl in the porn. He believes that the girl grows up to be Oryx, the lady who he talks to in his delusions as Snowman.

The two friends get separated as Crake attends a prestigious school for science while Jimmy goes to an old school of humanities. In the college, Jimmy takes up a study of rhetoric and advertising strategies. After graduation, Jimmy takes up a writing job with a company called AnooYoo but gets bored and depressed by this job and starts drinking heavily and developed a sex addiction. One day as he is drinking, he sees a story covered in San Francisco where several girls are kept in the garage for sex by wealthy men, and he identifies Oryx as one of the girls. It's during the same time that Jimmy learns about the death of his mother following an execution by Compound Security Force accused of treason. Crake one day appears and invites him to a bar, but before he leaves, Crake injects him for protection against a disease in the town they were headed. It is at this point that Crake tells Jimmy of a job position at a prestigious firm known as RejoovenEsense Compound where Crake holds a higher-up position. Jimmy accepts to take up the post. It is this compound that Snowman takes a journey to for his supplies.

On his Journey back to RejoovenEsense, Snowman is increasingly disturbed by Oryx’s voice and visions from the past as he loved her deeply. He is also hunted by Pigoons which are genetically modified creatures made from pigs and have human organs and brain tissues. He also hurts his leg on one of the three-day journeys where his leg gets infected and must nurse it to prevent the growing infection. He finally makes it to the compound.

Back to his memory when Crake hires Jimmy, where he introduces him to a coworker, and at once Jimmy recognizes her as Oryx. Oryx worked for Crake as a prostitute and as a teacher to the Crakers as Crake himself created them. Jimmy falls in love with Oryx and gets into a relationship with her behind Crake’s back. Oryx is then killed by Crake who is immediately shot by Jimmy. The story ends with Snowman back to the seashore where he is informed of other three humans like him. He is in a dilemma whether to shot them or befriend him. He looks at his broken watch and makes up his mind, “it’s time to go.”

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