Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
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Characters

Oryx

Characters Oryx

Oryx is the mysterious young woman with whom both Snowman and Crake fall in love. Born in a rural village somewhere in south or southeast Asia, Oryx was sold into slavery at a young age and spent much of her early life working in the sex industry. Despite the numerous traumas of her youth, Oryx retained a positive attitude. Snowman and Crake first saw Oryx in a video on a child pornography site when they were teenagers. Later, when he was at college, Crake hired her for sexual services. They became lovers, and he employed her at RejoovenEsense, where she worked as a teacher for the Children of Crake. She seduced Snowman and became his lover as well. Despite their intimacy, Snowman never felt like he fully understood Oryx or her motivations. When he inquired about her past, she resisted discussing anything in detail. Only when pressed did she tell Snowman what she went through, but Snowman remained suspicious that she was just humoring him. Oryx remained a mystery to the end, and she largely functions in the novel as a symbol of the intellectual and, later, sexual rivalry between Snowman and Crake.