73 pages 2 hours read

Margaret Atwood

MaddAddam

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2013

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Themes

Hope in a Post-Apocalyptic World

Before the battle, Toby explains the concept of hope to the Crakers in response to their question about whether everyone would make it home safely. She says, “Hope is when you want something very much but you do not know if that thing you want will really happen” (292). Hope isn’t logical, so Crake wouldn’t have seen the value, and he underestimated its power. After the plague hit, most of humanity went out partying, consuming all available intoxicating and harmful substances, leaving barely a can of beer or pack of cigarettes to be found. There was no hope, and perhaps there was no desire to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. It was a society that left very little room for hope. In Oryx and Crake, Crake tells a disinterested Jimmy, “All it takes […] is the elimination of one generation. One generation of anything. […] Break the link in time between one generation and the next, and it’s game over forever” (Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. Knopf Doubleday, 2004, p. 223). But he underestimated the ability of hope to drive humans forward, no matter how many generations are eradicated. Adam led the Gardeners in what amounted to roleplaying post-disaster survival, hoping that some people could be saved when the time came and hoping that the planet could recover from the damage done by humanity.

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