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Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton

Important Quotations Explained

Fifth Iteration–Epilogue

Key Facts

Maybe there's justice in the world after all.

Muldoon states this in the chapter, "Search," late in the novel when he and Gennaro find Nedry's dinosaur-mauled carcass. Nedry, by recklessly stealing fragile and potentially very dangerous bioengineered material, is the novel's most irresponsible character. As the novel careens to a close, many of its main characters meet death at the hand of the dinosaurs, and it is important to note that these deaths do not necessarily happen indiscriminately. For the most part, each character meets a fate that is largely deserved in light of their earlier deeds and attitudes. Though Nedry's death is the most obviously appropriate fatality, we must bear in mind that Hammond is the one responsible for the entire park in the first place, and there is no reason to believe his fate will not catch up with him as well. Likewise, the cowardly Ed Regis, the irresponsible scientist Dr. Wu, and the cocky John Arnold meet similar ends.

Although the implications of Malcolm's chaos theory are dark—that there is no way of predicting the future and that disaster is imminent for those who rely too heavily on computers and calculation—Crichton undercuts this concept by giving each of his characters there just deserts. By the end of the novel we have the impression that, despite the seeming chaos and randomness of the world, there may nonetheless be some underlying order to it.

Face the damn facts, Henry ... This isn't America. This isn't even Costa Rica. This is my island. I own it. And nothing is going to stop me from opening Jurassic Park to all the children of the world ... Or, at least, to the rich ones.

Hammond says this to Dr. Wu in the chapter, "Bungalow." At various points in the novel, Hammond alternately comes off as fiercely ambitious, shrewd, kind- hearted, or sometimes almost senile. He refuses to acknowledge the mounting evidence that his park is unsafe, even when the proof becomes irrefutable. He ignores the fact that his dinosaurs have obviously found a way to breed despite his scientists' precautions. Between his stubborn denial of reality and old age, we might speculate that Hammond is out of his mind, and perhaps in a way he is. More likely, as we see here, he is just blinded by his selfish vision and greed. Later, after the island has been reduced to shambles and half his employees are dead, Hammond still thinks that he can, and should, build another dinosaur park. While the first portion of the novel tends to vilify Nedry and the Biosyn Corporation for irresponsibly handling genetic engineering technology, Hammond emerges as the true abuser of scientific power. His materialistic motivation resounds clearly in his words here.

The animal on the floor was about a foot and a half long, the size of a small monkey. It was dark yellow with brown stripes, like a tiger. It had a lizard's head and long snout, but it stood upright on strong hind legs, balanced by a thick straight tail.

The narrator delivers these lines in the chapter, "The Tour," just before the animal described above jumps into Tim's arms. The animal is a baby velociraptor, but the description is the same as the one Tina gives of the "lizard" that attacks her earlier in the novel. At this point in the book, that lizard is identified first as a basilisk lizard and then, by Grant, as a compy. The above description, however, alerts us to the possibility that Tina was attacked by a young velociraptor. Later, when Lex spots several baby raptors on board a supply ship headed to the mainland, we can be certain that some of the creatures have made it onshore. This is again confirmed by the reports at the end of the novel of lizards migrating into the jungle, eating lysine-rich crops on the way, which will enable them to breed. At the end of the novel, we are left with the chilling knowledge that a population of raptors, the most lethal of the novel's dinosaurs, is likely living in the jungles of mainland Costa Rica.

[Arnold's] all right. He's an engineer. Wu's the same. They're both technicians. They don't have intelligence. They have what I call "thintelligence." They see the immediate situation. They think narrowly and they call it "being focused." They don't see the surround. They don't see the consequences.

Malcolm says this to Sattler in the chapter, "Aviary." "Thintelligence" is Malcolm's term for the type of scientific thinking that he views as responsible for the creation of a disaster such as Jurassic Park. He believes that science is increasingly headed into theoretical realms of concepts and figures that are so large that they are literally incomprehensible to the human mind. Malcolm contends that merely because humankind possesses a tool—a powerful computer that can accomplish feats of bioengineering, for instance—do does not mean that we should use that tool, especially if our knowledge of the tool's precise capabilities are so limited. We see this limited view in Arnold and Wu, who fail to foresee the consequences of their research and actions but go ahead and do it anyway, merely because they can.

Look at them... Leaning out of the windows, so eager. They can't wait to see it. They have come for the danger.

Hammond says this in the chapter "Big Rex" while the tour group waits for the tyrannosaurus outside the tyrannosaur paddock. Foreshadowing is one of Crichton's favorite tools: he uses it with bird-dinosaur imagery, with Tina's lizard attack, and again here to foreshadow the novel's major disaster. Just a couple of hours after this scene takes place, the tour group gets stalled outside the same paddock and the tyrannosaurus attacks.

This passage also hints at the inherent problem of resuscitating dinosaurs from extinction. It is reasonable to presume that humans are fascinated with dinosaurs because of the thrill and excitement of imagining predators dozens of times larger than us, capable of snapping any one of us in half in a single motion. As animals like that for the most part do not exist anymore, we understand that a place such as Jurassic Park would appeal to a certain kind of audience that enjoys a good scare now and then. The trill of "danger" the park visitors might be after, however, is undermined and overturned when we see the terrifying reality of the near-death experiences that befall this particular tour group.

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