The Unseen Consequences of Modern Science and Technology in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake

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The Unseen Consequences of Modern Science and Technology in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake Rough Copy “Science is a tool, and we invent tools to do things we want. It’s a question of how those tools are used by people.” – Margaret Atwood (Speculative Fiction’s Apocalyptic Optimist, Scott Thill, 2009). In the novel Oryx and Crake, the author Margaret Atwood exemplifies mankind’s desire to play a divine role through bioengineering and modern technology. She posits that this desire can ultimately result in unforeseen changes for humankind and the entire world. The pigoons for example, demonstrate how science and development backfires and results in negatively affecting mankind. Early in the novel the reader learns about human cortex containing the pigoons, which are pigs, genetically engineered to grow human organ tissue. However, when the virus begins to spread uncontrollably, they break free and become very intelligent and dangerous predators. When one of the characters Snowman is being chased by these man-eating creatures and is eventually trapped inside a gatehouse surrounded by pigoons, the narrator states, “If they (the pigoons) can’t push through the door they’ll wait him out… They can keep it up forever, they’ll starve him out. They can smell him in there, smell his flesh” (Atwood, 323). The scientists who initially participate in creating the pigoons obviously believed that by doing this they would undoubtedly better the world they were living in by extending lives of the people. They did not, however, consider the aftermath and possible downsides of this innovation and by neglecting to do so; they manage to make a disaster not for themselves, but for any human survivors of the epidemic. Furthermore, the quote demonstrates that as the pigoons have trapped Snowman inside the gatehouse, they are getting smarter, evolving and becoming less like pigs and
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