Freedom vs Peace in Oryx and Crake

Topics: Oryx And Crake

Robert A. Heinlein once said, “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.” If only Crake from Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake could have realized the truth in this statement, their world could have been a much better place. Time after time, when people try to create a perfect society, it ends in ultimate disaster. The creation of so-called perfect societies almost always involves limited free will. In this novel, this phenomenon is no different.

Crake wanted to create humans that were docile, peaceful, and genetically predisposed to avoid conflict, among other traits These Crakers never grew facial hair, for instance, because (Crake himself hated shaving. At first, it seems like Crake has done these genetically engineered humans a favor; they now will never have to worry about shaving. However, when examined more closely, this “favor” is not favored at all, but a constraint on free will.

Historically, has limiting diversity ever really been a good idea? Of course, Adolf Hitler believed it was a great idea.

If everyone was white, physically fit, and from a certain race, the world would be much better off. That is what he thought, anyway. The million people he slaughtered because they did not match these traits is a testament to the horrendous reality of limiting diversity.

In his quest to create a perfect society, Crake inadvertently destroyed the human race. This is comparable to what Hitler did during World War I, although Crake was much more efficient in his annihilation of human life, I also involved no war and was much more widespread.

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All that is left of humanity is Snowman and the Crakers -~- the perfectly peaceful people incapable of making mistakes.

The post-apocalyptic society that Jimmy inhabits may be peaceful, but it is completely void of freedom. The Crakers are little more than robots, incapable of real human emotion. They are not free to make their own decisions and have no choice but to live peacefully, not appreciating the peace, since they have no opposite emotion to compare it with.

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Freedom vs Peace in Oryx and Crake. (2022, Jun 11). Retrieved from

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