Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 8, 2023
December 1, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
Full title Oryx and Crake
Author Margaret Atwood
Type of work Novel
Genre Speculative fiction; dystopian fiction; post-apocalyptic fiction
Time and place written Canada, late 1990s and early 2000s
Date of first publication May 2003
Publisher McClelland and Stewart (Canada); Bloomsbury (UK); Doubleday (US)
Narrator The narrator is anonymous. The narrator mostly speaks with an objective perspective but occasionally mimics Snowman’s thoughts, which makes the narrator’s voice sound more like Snowman’s.
Point of view
Snowman’s point of view dominates
Oryx and Crake, but instead of Snowman speaking for himself, the narrator speaks about Snowman in the third person. The narrator has full access to Snowman’s thoughts and feelings and so describes everything in the world as Snowman sees it from his subjective perspective.
Tone Cynical and mournful. Snowman’s narrative recounts the rise of Crake’s scientific ambitions, which resulted in the fall of human civilization.
Tense The chapters following Snowman are narrated in the present tense, and the chapters following Snowman’s past self, Jimmy, are narrated in the past tense.
Setting (time) Near the end of the twenty-first century
Setting (place) The east coast of the United States, somewhere in the mid-Atlantic
Protagonist Snowman (aka Jimmy)
Major conflict The major conflict plays out between Crake and Snowman and the ideals each man stands for: whereas Crake stands for scientific progress and rational solutions to the world’s problems, Snowman stands for a more complex and humanistic view that seeks to understand rather than solve the world’s problems.
Rising action On his way to Paradice, Snowman remembers how he came to work at the facility when Crake was in the final stages of developing his two-part plan, which included the BlyssPluss pill and a tribe of genetically enhanced humans. Both men fell in love with Oryx and had relationships with her.
Climax Once he arrives at Paradice, Snowman remembers when he first realized that Crake’s BlyssPluss pill caused the global outbreak of a deadly plague, and that Oryx had unknowingly helped prepare the way for Crake’s plan.
Falling action Snowman remembers how, in the first hours of the outbreak, Crake returned to Paradice with Oryx and slit her throat, prompting Snowman to shoot Crake.
Themes The danger of scientific advancement; the dominance of corporate power; the devaluation of art
Motifs Voices; memory; playing God
Symbols Blood and Roses; Alex the Parrot; the Children of Oryx
Foreshadowing Foreshadowing permeates most the narrative, which involves Snowman remembering the events that led to the post-apocalyptic conditions of his present situation. Each event brings the reader closer to an ultimate understanding of the event that wiped out most of the world’s population and Snowman’s personal role in it. For example, Snowman recalls Crake’s hypothesis about HelthWyzer using vitamin pills to distribute newly developed diseases, which in hindsight he now recognizes as a forerunner to the plague Crake spread via his BlyssPluss pills.