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Genetic Engineering in Oryx and Crake - Essay Example

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Topic Institution Date Novel Review: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Novel Review: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood The relationship between scientific research, technological development and society has been the subject of heightened scholarly interest for many years…
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Genetic Engineering in Oryx and Crake

Download file to see previous pages... From this perspective, the current paper critically analyses the novel Oryx and Crake by Atwood. To achieve this objective, the paper examines the possible outcomes of present pursuit of genetic engineering illustrated in the illusionary world created by the author and makes connections to present realities. A critical analysis of the novel Oryx and Crake reveals that Atwood’s main argument relates to the detrimental effects associated with advances in science and technology, especially genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is a technology which involves manipulation of organisms and their genetic make-up. The genetic manipulation may involve inserting foreign genes into an organism to alter its biological, physical and behavioral characteristics. While genetic engineering has been used for beneficial purposes, the advancement in DNA technology has raised numerous questions about the possible impact on society. Nicholl asserts that genetic engineering is an emotive subject (4). The novel examines these consequences from ethical, scientific, economic and social perspectives. The novel begins by illustrating an unidentified event leading to the collapse of morality and civilization. Snowman, the protagonist lives with bizarre human creatures, called the Crackers. The world depicted by Atwood is characterized by atypical beasts, products of DNA technology. From the interjected scenes, it becomes clear that Snowman grew up as Jimmy, who became friends with Glenn (Crake), a talented science student. The two liked playing computer games and watching child pornography. Crake pursues career in bioengineering while Jimmy takes on humanities and literature. Crake creates the Crakes, human-like engineered creatures and befriends a prostitute, Oryx. In addition, Crake develops a contagious engineered virus in the disguise of a drug. The virus infects all human subjects apart from Jimmy who has been innocuously vaccinated against it. The world depicted in the Oryx and Crake illustrates possible outcomes of the advancement in science and technology, especially the use of DNA technology in genetic engineering. While science and technology presents enormous benefits to societies, when these technologies and processes are not controlled they poses detrimental effects. Genetic engineering is one of the most interesting technologies in the 21st century. The ability to create organisms with super-qualities outlines the beneficial outcomes related to DNA technology. However, if scientific experimentation with the genetic-make up of organisms could also result to detrimental effects. This could happen via both deliberate manipulations to create harmful organisms or due to accidental escape of experimental biological material from contained systems. The Oryx and Crake envision a fictional society, in which genetic engineering has been used to create synthetic food products and organisms that threaten the existence of the very society they are made to benefit. A critical analysis of the masterpiece reveals that the author depicts the possible consequences that could arise due to advancement in science and technology. For instance, the novel illustrates the creation of a virulent virus in the disguise of a drug. This illustration depicts the possible use of technology to create harmful ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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