Playing God: Abusing Scientific Advancements
As Jack Kevorkian says, “Anytime you interfere with a natural process, you’re playing God”. By that qualification, a great deal of human activity gets simplified to the idea of “playing God”. In Margaret Atwood’s novel, Oryx and Crake, Glenn, better known as Crake, becomes godlike in the sense that he creates products that manipulate natural functions and his own form of people-like creatures, the Crakers. However, Crake is not the only character to engage in godlike activity. The major premise of this novel is the advancement of gene splicing and genetic engineering to the point where scientists are creating hybrids of animals like wolvogs, pigoons, rakunks, and snats. Essentially, through…show more content…
Plastic surgery is a scientific advancement that enables individuals to “improve” their bodies in order to conform to societal norms. Yet, plastic surgery exists as a way for humans to “play God”. Those who decide to go under the knife cosmetically are openly rejecting the body that God gave them. Instead, they turn to another God, their plastic surgeon. People refuse to accept their own reflections and abuse plastic surgery without considering the risks and ramifications of it, just like the people in the Oryx and Crake universe.
Despite stepping into the role of God, characters within the novel lack any definitive spiritual or religious beliefs. The way in which their culture evolved did not foster a need for a deity, but having religious or spiritual beliefs can enable individuals to develop a moral compass of sorts. Characters rarely bring up the questionable ethics connected to the scientific advancements. Jimmy’s mother, Sharon, is one of the only characters who criticize the compounds for their actions. At one point, she believes that the compounds are truly helping people (Atwood 56-57). However, as the compounds become more elitist and seemingly cruel to animals, Sharon becomes disillusioned. One day after Jimmy comes home from school, she runs away. In a note she tells Jimmy that “[I could] no longer participate in a lifestyle that is.. meaningless... I have taken Killer with me to liberate her, as