Amanda Payne is Jimmy's post-college girlfriend. He lives with her and her three roommates for a few months after graduation while he is searching for a job. He views the world very differently from his artistically-drive partner, but they still have a connection.
Bernice was Jimmy's first college roommate. She mercilessly criticized and harassed him for his lifestyle. After she burned some of his belongings, Jimmy complained to the office and was given a new roommate.
Years later, Jimmy thinks he sees Bernice's body in a picture taken after a violent rally. She was a God's Gardener supporter.
The CorpSeCorps serve as a generalized police force. They guard compounds, schools, and other segregated areas from both disease and unwanted individuals.
The CorpSeCorps are also in charge of investigating those who are anti-government. Because Jimmy's mother ran away, Jimmy was interviewed many times over the years about his mother's whereabouts.
Glenn, renamed Crake during the playing of Extinctathon, is Jimmy's peer and best friend. He is a brilliant student and spends most of his time living in a world of ideas.
After high school, he attends the prestigious Watson-Crick Institute where he buds into a formidable geneticist. His talents in this field as well as his unique philosophies ultimately lead to his creation of a group of humanoids later referred to as the Crakers.
Over the course of the novel, Crake turns from boy to brilliant teenager to mad scientist. Crake meets his demise after slitting Oryx's throat in front of Jimmy, who shoots him.
Created by Crake as a part of the Paradice project, they are humanoid creatures that possess what Crake considered the best bits of genetic material from across species. Crake envisioned them to be ideal, immortal predecessors to humans after the dispersal of his killer BlyssPluss Pill.
Jimmy/Snowman has become the Crakers’ caretaker. He makes sure that they don’t come in contact with anything that might harm or confuse them. Existing entirely inside of the Paradice complex before being released by Jimmy/Snowman, they lack an understanding of the outside world.
Thanks to genetic splicing, the Crakers practice a hormone-driven form of polyandry. In addition, they are programmed to drop dead at age 30. Their young mature much faster than human children do. The Crakers have no conception of race and live peacefully amongst themselves.
A hospital worker who ends up dying as a result of infection with a "hot bioform." It is later suspected by Jimmy that she was killed by her own son, Crake, during his efforts to test his experimental microbes.
A radical group of anti-establishment individuals who disagree with the dominance of the pharmaceutical industry in society. Favoring small farmers and real food, they are frequently seen as protesters at the walls of compounds like HelthWyzer. Bernice, Jimmy's college roommate, was a supporter of the group. It is also believed by Jimmy that his mother participated in the group's efforts.
Jack is an American living abroad who works in the production of child pornography. He exchanges English lessons for sexual favors with Oryx.
Jimmy, who later renames himself as Snowman, is the main protagonist of the book. The story is relayed completely from his viewpoint--both in his recollections of his past as Jimmy and his current situation as Snowman.
Jimmy is a "word person" living in a society filled of highly logical, scientifically oriented people. Often times he finds himself alone in his thoughts. Unlike his best friend Crake, Jimmy has a depth of understanding that extends beyond the pragmatic realities of scientific knowledge. His talents are largely unappreciated in his world and this serves as a source of frustration for him as he is unable to connect with many individuals.
Jimmy earned a degree in Problematics from Martha Graham and works as an ad writer for pharmaceutical companies. His best friend Crake hired him to work in this capacity at his own firm. This job offer is what ultimately sets the stage for the novel.
Jimmy's father, an unnamed character, works for OrganInc and later HelthWyzer as a scientist. He is heavily involved in the pigoon project. Although his wife has many misgivings about his participation in genetic splicing, he has a much more pragmatic approach to his work.
After the disappearance of Jimmy's mother, he is eventually allowed to divorce her. He then marries his laboratory technician, Ramona. They plan to start a new family together.
MaddAddam was the screen name of a Grandmaster who ran a game called Extinctathon. Jimmy and Crake were avid players of the game during their teens. Crake continued playing and ultimately became a Grandmaster.
Once Crake figured out that MaddAddam was actually comprised of a group of individuals that plotted attacks against the dominating pharmaceutical and genetics companies, he hired them out to use their brainpower for his Paradice Project.
Oryx is a mysterious, ethereal character that weaves in and out of the text. Jimmy believes that the adult Oryx is the same person as a little girl he once saw on a pornographic site. The little girl's image has haunted him over the years, so it is unclear whether Oryx is the same person as the little girl.
Her mother sold Oryx, as Jimmy knows her, to a traveling businessman. She was forced to sell flowers on the streets of an unknown large city. Later on, she was sold to someone else to participate in pornographic movies. A fan bought her from the moviemaker and she moved to San Francisco. It was here that she was found in a locked garage. Crake saw her on a television newscast and decided to request her through the Student Affairs Office at his school. She later went on to work for Crake.
Oryx was both Jimmy/Snowman and Crake's lover. She also served as the first human contact for the Crakers. She haunts Snowman posthumously and the Crakers remember her as a lover of nature.
A lab technician and good friend of Jimmy's father at OrganInc. She moves to HelthWyzer with Jimmy's father when he is given a position there under the premise that she is a very good at her job. Later on, after the dissolution of the marriage of Jimmy's parents, she marries Jimmy's father.
Jimmy's mother. She runs away from the OrganInc compound after going through a long period of withdrawal. She remains a source of unresolved conflict for Jimmy, who doubts her love.
The nickname that Uncle En gives Oryx. See Oryx.
Uncle En is the man to whom Oryx's mother sold her daughter. He was a regular visitor to Oryx's village and others nearby. Desperate families would sell their children to him in exchange for much needed money. The children were then sent to live in large cities as flower sellers. Other children, like Oryx, took part in scams.
Uncle En disappears, and Oryx later hears that he was killed.
Uncle Pete was the boss and close friend of Crake's father. After the death of Crake's father, Uncle Pete began consoling Crake's mother. Eventually, the two moved in together. Uncle Pete served as a surrogate father figure to Crake in the sense that he was the male presence in the household.
Snowman suspects that Uncle Pete met his demise at the hands of one of Crake's experimental bioforms.
Oryx and Crake Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Oryx and Crake is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Jimmy knew that eventually he would have to remove the Crakers from their dome. They were consuming the foliage faster than it was able to grow. They also needed to experience the world if they were to progress.