Jurassic Park


Second Iteration

Summary Second Iteration


In these chapters Crichton abandons the novel's initial sense of hinting and mystery by filling us in outright that InGen is indeed hiding some dangerous secrets. The protagonists and antagonists are now more clearly identified. Although several characters and settings are introduced in this section, the bulk of the narration takes place from the perspective of Grant. He is the only paleontologist on Isla Nublar, and thus, presumably, knows more about the dinosaurs than anyone else there.

While Morris visits with Grant and Sattler, his comments about gene-splicing equipment and Hammond lead us to believe that Isla Nublar is home to a shady genetic engineering lab. When Morris recalls an outbreak of rabies in Chile caused by an American biotech company, we recall Tina's father being concerned about her catching rabies from her lizard bites. Though the nervous discussion between Gennaro and Ross indicate that there could be something to fear from Hammond's operation with InGen, the mystery seems a little less ominous once the reader discovers that Hammond has been engineering dinosaurs rather than some sort of deadly lizard-virus. Instead, Dodgson and the Biosyn Corporation, who are responsible for the rabies outbreak in Chile, take on the role of lead villain at this point. Although he is never named, process of elimination leads us to believe that the man Biosyn has hired to steal embryos from InGen is Nedry. Nedry thus becomes the novel's primary antagonist.

There is little outright conflict at this point in the novel. Once we know that a dinosaur has in fact been biting children in Costa Rica, that mystery is solved. Grant is now the main character, but it does not appear as if Nedry's theft would have any effect on Grant, as the paleontologist has no real stake in InGen. The issue that emerges now, however, is the safety and success of Isla Nublar itself. Gennaro and Ross's discussions are obviously skeptical speculation. Grant, Sattler, Malcolm, and Gennaro are all visiting the island to evaluate it and say whether or not they think it will work. We can see Malcolm's intense skepticism based on chaos theory, then, as a kind of prediction that Hammond's island cannot be controlled. Now that the group has all arrive, they will get a first-hand look at whether or not Malcolm is right.

Crichton maintains his bird-dinosaur blurring in these chapters. Morris says that Grant's dinosaur fossils look like chicken bones, while Grant describes procompsognathus as being about the size of a chicken and states that velociraptor was "as finely tuned as a bird." The reason for these comparisons do not become more until Grant and company have closer interaction with the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar, but even from their initial observations Grant and Sattler are obviously surprised at how deftly the dinosaurs move. At this point, the connection between birds and dinosaurs emphasizes that the creatures are not necessarily the lumbering beasts they are often depicted to be in popular culture.