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The Power of Literature

            In higher education, the focus shifts closer to the math and sciences and farther from the arts and humanities each year. Most dystopian novels show the loss of the arts and the major advance in science. In Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake there is a display of the vast decline in the knowledge and importance of the arts. The main character, Jimmy (Snowman), is looked down upon and even sent to a lesser university for his love and extensive knowledge of English. In this world of genetic advancement that Atwood created, individuals were looked down upon if they did not happen to be a "numbers person " (Atwood 74). Following the story of Jimmy, the reader is able to see Atwood's emphasis on the importance behind English and all other arts and humanities to the human race, without them the world turns into a number driven, dangerous place to survive in. .
             In the beginning, there is clearly something off about the land presented. As the novel progresses, the reader is given information about the world as Jimmy used to know it. Atwood's descriptions of Jimmy's memories of childhood are artistically lacking. Growing up surrounded by "OrganInc Farms " (22), an organization focused on genetically altering animals organs to match those of humans, Jimmy had little influence from anything literary. This lack of diversity in the upbringing experienced by Jimmy and other kids in this world led them to explore rather graphic and explicit forms of entertainment. In their spare time Jimmy and his friend Crake begin surfing the Internet, looking for ways to pass time. The boys are said to browse through sites about executions, animal abuse, pornography, assisted suicides, and sites that documented every hour of a person's life. The first time Jimmy "encountered Shakespeare " (84) was while he and Crake were surfing of these undignified sites. These people had degraded Shakespeare, the most renowned author of all time.

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