A dystopia can be defined as a society where the conditions of life are poor because of deprivation, oppression, or ignorance. The citizens within this type of society believe the conditions of life are acceptable or even exceptional. In Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood; the human society, that the younger version (Jimmy) of the main character (Snowman) lives in, is full of disease, isolation, and squalor on one hand and technological and scientific advancements on the other. However their need to advance science and technology to improve society, clouds the true state of their society and ultimately leads to their dystopian features. The goal of this paper is to prove the dystopian nature of this society through their technology, government system, and family relations. .
Oryx and Crake is set in a post-apocalyptic world nearly void of humans (Atwood 41). The replacing species are Crakers, genetically modified human-like creatures made by Crake (Atwood 302) to replace humanity. The story is about Snowman's life; after he unwillingly helped Crake with his scheme when his name "was [still] Jimmy " (Atwood 16). Correspondingly Jimmy's view on what happened, leading up to the extinction of Homo sapiens, is shown (Atwood 326). Jimmy's society is controlled by various compounds where brilliant minds come together and advance society according to their specific area of focus. It's the compounds and the praise of their advancements that catalyzes the dystopian features. .
Technological and scientific advancements were wildly praised in Jimmy's society because they enhanced life. Most of their technology went into the science of genetic alterations, which gave rise to several dystopian features. It started with splicing a goat and a spider to make a gider in present time, which was helpful in making "high tensile spider silk filaments " used for bulletproof vests (Atwood 199).