106 pages 3 hours read

Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2003

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Character Analysis


Though he does not narrate directly, the novel is told from the perspective of Snowman, whose real name is Jimmy. As a child, Jimmy had a love for art and language, and in particular, rare or obsolete words. He had a strained relationship with his parents but hit it off with a new transfer student called Glenn (Crake), in spite of their contrasting natures.

After graduating from college, Jimmy started working in marketing and Crake subsequently recruited him for his own Paradice project. Jimmy also fell in love with a young woman named Oryx, who he first saw in an online video. Though reluctant to betray Crake (with whom she was in a relationship), he ultimately succumbed to Oryx’s seduction attempts.

After the outbreak of Crake’s virus, Jimmy was horrified to find himself the only human being left, and now he often feels lonely, sad, and angry. Words and objects evoke a sense of nostalgia, and he makes a particular effort to keep words alive in his mind so that they will not be lost. However, despite clinging to the past in one respect, his christens himself Snowman to disassociate himself from his old identity and its associations.