Ms. Gokturk DUE _________________________

Oryx and Crake literary Analysis Essay

YOUR TASK: Write a 1200 word literary analysis essay in which you analyze Oryx and Crake through a position of your choice. This is a literary analysis essay, and therefore, you should explore within your analysis HOW the author has used literary techniques/devices to develop the point you are trying to prove. Please submit your final draft to turnitin by the due date.


Please refrain from making grandiose, sweeping statements. The first paragraph should be specific and direct, identifying the title, author, and genre of the works, and ending with a clear, interesting, and succinct thesis statement. Develop the ideas fully in the body, providing logical connections and relevant text-based evidence (TBE). Embed each quote in your explanation/interpretation. Use MLA parenthetical page citations. Your tone should be formal and erudite!


Come up with your own paper topic OR choose one of the quotes, questions, or statements from below. Do you agree or disagree? Agree or disagree with the passage/statement as you interpreted it without using “I” or “my” or “me.” Simply take a position: is it true or false … based on the context in the novel? I would also like to see you push your thesis idea to the next level – in your statement, address the HOW and WHY. Keep asking those questions until you have answered them as far as you can.


Be mindful of the logic of your essay. Be deliberate with your topic sentences and that the evidence you select actually supports the topic. Blend your quotes, watch your punctuation. PROOFREAD!



Your Idea Here. Try to generate a topic of your choosing. The best papers are those which matter to you. Find something to write about that you find interesting, perplexing, disturbing. Address an idea the novel presents that you feel a passionate urge to explore


Discuss the importance of games.


Explore the significance of time to the novel.


Snowman’s world is more beautiful than Jimmy’s.


Crake is intellectually honorable.


Examine the concept of time and how it is referenced in the novel.


Snowman says, “Things happened, I had no idea, it was out of my control” (45).


Select a passage/quote from the novel and use it to explore an important aspect of the novel.


Focus on the importance of Snowman’s journey.

Jimmy’s mother says, “You’re interfering with the building blocks of life. It’s immoral. It’s … sacrilegious” (57).


“As a species we are doomed by hope?” (120).


Jimmy says, “I don’t have a price” (139).


Snowman becomes a Craker.


Ars Longa Vita Brevis (188).


We understand more than we know.


Magnet essay. Explore the importance of a magnet, a series, a comparison or all the magnets and explore its/their importance to the narrative.


“Jimmy had few illusions” (188).


Jimmy is also to blame for the JUVE epidemic.


Crake’s project is “an elegant concept” (295).


“There were signs and I missed them” (320). What were they? Or, explore Crake’s plan and how/when/where it began. What about Jimmy’s mother?


Bugs. Analyze the symbolic importance of the insects that appear in the novel: ants, grasshoppers, spiders, caterpillars, butterflies…


Discuss the importance of animals and / or treatment of animals to the narrative.


Discuss the role of nature in the text.


Examine the role of abstract (or symbolic) thinking.

Analyze the text as a religious text or as a mythology.


Dreaming surfaces throughout the text. What role does dreaming play in this narrative?


Explore the concept of time in the novel.


Insects appear throughout the novel. What do they help illustrate?


Explore Snowman’s evolution and/or devolution.


Read and explore a poem (such as Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan; Or, a Vision in a Dream” or TS Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” or a relevant poem) and use it at the lens to explore the text. You will need to explicate the poem first and then connect to Atwood’s novel.


Watch out for art, Crake used to say. As soon as they start doing art, we’re in trouble. Symbolic thinking of any kind would signal downfall…” (361).


“Would you kill someone you loved to spare them pain?” Crake asks Jimmy. Explore this statement from different perspectives and whom is spared the pain.


Discuss Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey Monomyth as it pertains to Snowman’s journey.


Consider the development of one or more of the many themes we discussed: isolation, earth abides, crossing lines, exploitation, indifference, empathy, consumption, animal rights, etc. How and why did Atwood develop this idea?


Revisit the video we watched before the novel (“It’s Time to Question Bioengineering” a Ted Talk by Paul Root Wolpe: and discuss the novel through three important talking points presented. Cite the video: AuthorLastName, AuthorFirstName. "Title of Video." TED, Date, URL (without the https://).