Oryx and Crake

Allusions and references

To other works

The cover of some editions contains a portion of the left panel of Hieronymous Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights. The cover of other editions contains a modified portion of Lucas Cranach the Elder's painting The Fall.

In the first chapter, Snowman utters a reference from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five:

"It is the strict adherence to daily routine that tends towards the maintenance of good morale and the preservation of sanity," he says out loud. He has the feeling he's quoting from a book, some obsolete, ponderous directive written in aid of European colonials running plantations of one kind or another.

One of Snowman's musings, "Now I'm alone [...] All, all alone. Alone on a wide, wide sea"[10] is an allusion to part four of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.[11]

In chapter 5 (sub section Bottle) is "Out, out, brief candle" from Shakespeare's Macbeth.

To popular culture

In "Margaret Atwood, Transhumanism, and the Singularity", Sobriquet Magazine identified several possible pop cultural references in Oryx and Crake:

the world Atwood imagines in Oryx and Crake is hardly that far-fetched, especially online. The exhibitionistic website At Home With Anna K, for instance, is almost certainly a reference to Ana Voog's AnaCam and the lifecasting movement pioneered by Jennifer Ringley and her now-defunct JenniCam website. Likewise, many of the other fictional websites Jimmy and Crake visit in the novel have real-life analogues: Felicia's Frog Squash is essentially a crush porn portal, the premise of dirtysockpuppets.com recalls ITV's Spitting Image programme, Queek Geek sounds an awful lot like Fear Factor, and the concept of watching assisted suicides on nitee-nite.com was actualized in our world when Craig Ewert allowed his death in Switzerland to be documented by Sky TV for their controversial Right to Die documentary. Even the seemingly far-fetched idea of broadcasting live executions (which Jimmy and Crake watch on shortcircuit.com, brainfrizz.com, and deathrowlive.com) has already been discussed, with a high percentage of the U.S. population receptive to the concept.[12]

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