Jurassic Park

Summary

Introduction–First Iteration

Summary Introduction–First Iteration

At the hospital in Puntarenas, Dr. Cruz thinks Tina will be alright. Mike recalls that when he found Tina, her left arm had been covered in thumbprint- sized bites and a sticky, saliva-like foam. As Mike and Dr. Cruz look at the picture Tina has drawn of the lizard that bit her, the doctor admits that he is not an expert on lizards and has thus requested the help of a Dr. Guitierrez from across the bay.

When Dr. Guitierrez, an American, shows up, he feels confident that the lizard that bit Tina was a Basiliscus amoratus, although he claims that a few of the details in Tina's picture, like the elongated neck and three toes, seem inaccurate. On her way out of the hospital, Tina makes some keen observations concerning Dr. Cruz's change of clothing. Cruz then asks the girl if she is certain that the lizard had three toes, and she replies that she is. Seemingly convinced of the girl's clever memory, Cruz relates his encounter with Tina to Dr. Guitierrez, who is no longer sure that Tina was bitten by a basilisk lizard.

Guitierrez is on the beach of Cabo Blanco, near the place where the lizards attacked Tina. He thinks about the recent reports of lizards attacking local babies and muses that basilisk lizards are not normally violent. He concludes that perhaps deforestation has driven a previously unknown species of lizard out of a more remote part of the jungle. As Guitierrez is leaving the beach, he notices a howler monkey eating a green and brown-striped lizard. He retrieves the carcass and concludes that he will send it to Dr. Simpson at Columbia University, a leading world authority on lizard taxonomy.

Dr. Simpson is in Borneo on field research, so the carcass is sent to Dr. Richard Stone, head of the Tropical Diseases Laboratory at Columbia. He does some analysis of the sample, concluding that there is no risk of viral or bacterial infection from the lizard. He sends a fax to Costa Rica that puts Guitierrez at ease. Meanwhile, a midwife at Bobbie's clinic returns to a bassinet in the clinic one night to find three lizards eating the baby that is lying inside.

Not wanting to get in trouble for neglecting the baby, the midwife reports the infant's cause of death as SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. The lab that analyzed the saliva from Tina's bite wounds has discovered a primitive neurotoxin in it that is related to cobra venom. At Columbia, a technician named Alice Levin notices Tina's drawing and refers to it as a "dinosaur." Dr. Stone corrects her, stating that it is a lizard. Levin argues with Stone, claiming that she should know, because her kids are obsessed with dinosaurs. She suggests sending the lizard to the Museum of Natural History, but Stone wants to wait for Dr. Simpson.

Analysis

Crichton employs two literary techniques—dramatic irony and foreshadowing—to establish the beginning of Jurassic Park as a quickly unfolding mystery. Almost immediately, Bobbie is suspicious of the nature of the InGen Construction worker's injuries, which foreshadows InGen as a source of suspicious activity. Later, when the foamy saliva found on the worker's injuries also appears on Tina after her lizard attack, it is clearly implied that the worker was also bitten, rather than involved in a construction accident.