J. Brooks Bousie's Oryx And Crake

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In the dystopian world Jimmy inhabits in Oryx and Crake, the humanities are of little relevance, as J. Brooks Bouson states: “In Jimmy’s world, the creative arts, no longer valued by the culture, have lost their vitality” (144). Instead, they have been replaced by science and technology as the fields of study of most importance. Since the majority of people living in the compounds are ‘numbers people’ and work for the laboratories in the compounds, Jimmy as a ‘word person’ is isolated and in his own way, special. Accordingly, Danette DiMarco declares that "Jimmy’s humanistic tendencies socially marginalize him […] [e]ven as he is part of the privileged, scientific community because of his family background" (171). Jimmy is neither interested nor talented in the field of numbers. Hence, within the compounds, his “skills cannot be capitalized upon and are therefore of no value from the corporate point of view, which prioritizes profit-making"…show more content…
He starts “drinking alone now, at night” (Atwood 305) and even “[l]anguage itself had lost its solidity; it had become thin, contingent, slippery, a viscid film on which he was sliding around like an eyeball on a plate” (305f). In bed, he recites his list of obsolete words, which used to give him comfort, but does not anymore (306f). Although his lists of words always manage to calm him, in this case, they do not. This does not necessarily show the failure of the healing effects of language, but rather the severity of his grief and desperation. Moreover, in the panic that breaks out when Jimmy is trapped in the Paradice dome, waiting for Oryx, he goes back to reciting his lists of words (382f). It is remarkable that he always returns to this habit when he is in a very emotionally destabilizing situation. At some point, after all, the power of the humanities always helps him to calm down and find hope, as mentioned

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