Oryx and Crake, the speculatively fictional novel by Roman Atwood deals with many controversial and powerful themes. Through what are named the “crakers” in the novel, Atwood shows that the human characteristics that are presented as the most problematic in human life are also primary and unavoidable qualities that shape what it means to be human. The purpose of creating the crakers, for Crake, was to eliminate the elements of human identity which he sees as useless. Without individuality he believed they will be able to work together to prevail as the ultimate human race He attempts to create immortality by religion, emotions, and art, all of which was later developed by the crakers. This is a symbol for the notion that no matter how much society changes itself and people attempt to edit themselves, humans will always have these characteristics as an inevitable part of living.
After the apocalypse, Snowman must take care of the crakers, so he gives them names and tells them stories about how the world was made and “how Crake did the Great Rearrangement and made the Great Emptiness” (119), which allows them to develop a curiosity about where they came from. Snowman also refers to Oryx and Crake as godlike beings that he can talk to through his watch. This starts to give the crakers their own identity by showing them how they came to be, and a feeling of belonging. Like most religions, the crakers have a prophet (Snowman) that holds all the answers, and weather they are true or not it gives the crakers a sense of having some sort of leader, which is exactly what crake did not want. Later, the crakers start to communicate with their god by themselves “They’re up to something though, something Crake didn’t anticipate: they’re conversing with the invisible, they’ve developed reverence.” (186). This quote shows that even through all the editing and testing they have gone through, the crakers still manage to develop human like qualities such as a sense of a higher dominant being and beliefs of an evolution of their race which is all characterized as religion.
The crakers start to ask more questions about their genesis and develop language- which is another human trait that crake attempted to edit out. The language the crakers use to communicate is human because they developed both of it through their cultural experience and not purely from genetics. Oryx as the crakers’ first teacher began to introduce language to them not only because she used it to speak to them but in the way in which she spoke. Through these the crakers start to understand themselves and others around them and begin to develop self awareness and consciousness. Language allows them to interact and communicate, and have questions that create questions. “That stuff’s been edited out” (Atwood, 366).