Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Religious Themes in Oryx and Crake Essay -- World Literature Religion

Religious Themes in Oryx and Crake It is in these representations of Snowman that I believe Atwood is making a definitive statement as to whether God created man or whether man creates God. Undoubtedly Atwood is suggesting that man inevitably, despite of himself, creates God, with or without outside assistance. It seems that throughout the novel there is an extended metaphor of Snowman as various figures from the Christian bible. The first figure that Snowman can be said to represent is that of Adam, the first man, though the similarities between the two characters do not follow the same chronology. Just as Adam is given the animals as companions to look over, similarly Crake has ensured that the Crakers and Jimmy are both left in the newly re-created world as companions. Another strong resemblance and play on words can be observed in the Christian story of original sin and Crake's mass destruction of humanity. In Genesis, God sets aside one fruit tree and commands Adam not to touch or eat from it, as a result of Adam's betrayal, God casts him out of paradise, and forces hardship on him for the rest of his days. Likewise, Jimmy is fully cognizant the first time he meets Oryx that she is off limits to him, yet his betrayal of Crake ultimately results in his leaving Paradice and forces various hardships on him. Lastly, in the Snowman-as-Adam device, there is a realization that the companions which have been assigned by a higher power are insufficient, and the following desperate need for companions that are closer on the evolutionary chain. For Adam, this companion was Eve. Throughout Atwood's novel Snowman is absolutely desperate for some companion, someone more understanding than the Crakers, or better than his ow... ...t this leads to a rather interesting debate: whether or not the Crakers would have eventually created religion or at the very least art themselves, regardless of Snowman`s interference. I believe that Atwood is commenting on the fact that it is man's nature to be existential, to wonder where he came from, and who created creation, and that it is natural to invent possible answers to these questions when none are evident. For example, as Snowman returns after his foray back into the Compound he finds that the Crakers have created an idol of him and are chanting his name in a way which sounds like `Amen', "next they'd be inventing idols, and funerals, and grave goods, and the afterlife, and sin..."(361). Either way you look at Snowman, as a religious patriarch or a representation of the biblical serpent, he is still corrupting the Crakers with his false dogma.

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