Oryx and Crake questions (Day 3)

Read over the following list of discussion questions, start with whichever questions you are most interested in, and answer as many as you can fully answer in the time allowed. Take notes as a group and clearly identify (by number) which questions you are answering.

  1. Why does Atwood focus so much on sex? Is this commentary on humanity, is it commentary on Jimmy/Snowman, or is it somehow related to the overarching ideas of the book?
  2. Do you agree with Crake? If the world falls apart, can it be rebuilt at this point? (See p. 223)
  3. Who were the voices Snowman heard on the radio? Were they real, or just his imagination?
  4. From what we know about the fate of humanity, is the man on the other end of the radio good or bad?
  5. Snowman thinks at one point that “Desire and fear were universal, between them they’d been the gravediggers” (273). What does this mean? Do you think Snowman is right?
  6. Crake says, “Immortality is a concept. If you take ‘mortality’ as being, not death, but the foreknowledge of it and the fear of it, then ‘immortality’ is the absence of such fear. Babies are immortal. Edit out the fear and you’ll be…” What does Crake mean by this? What kind of immortality is he talking about? Would you agree with him?
  7. Is there anything that compares to the feeling of finding human life after being alone for so long? Is there anything else in that situation that could make you feel better?
  8. Are the Crakers human?
  9. What is the best way to deal with a depressing situation (like the one Snowman finds himself in)? What would be a good solution to Jimmy’s depression? If you were in Jimmy’s shoes, would you feel the same way?
  10. Is Oryx dead? Is it her ghost that visits him? Or is he hallucinating?
  11. If you thought you were a lone survivor on earth would you use time and energy trying to find others? Or would you focus all of your time and energy on doing what’s right for you and your survival? Why?
  12. Why does Snowman go to RejoovenEsense instead of someplace else? What does he hope to get from there?
  13. What would happen to the world is somehow we invented a way to cure all illness?
  14. Why do the people buying self-help or motivational books buy them? Why aren’t they self-motivated? Why do they want physical perfection?
  15. What is the significance of Jimmy’s continuing dreams about his mother? What does this appear to indicate about Snowman?
  16. Why does Snowman keep getting stuck in the past? Do you think this is healthy? What do you think keeps him there?
  17. If you were present during the outbreak, how would you have reacted? Do you think humanity brought this sickness on itself? If so, how?
  18. With the little insight on Oryx’s character in this section, how do you see the relationship between Crake and Snowman being affected by her? Will she play a detrimental role in the story later on or will she remain a mysterious figure?
  19. Do you think Snowman’s environment is filled with constant reminders of his past?
  20. Are the Crakers ever going to find out the truth behind Snowman and what happened to Crake? If they don’t, why might that be important?

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