Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
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Summary

Chapter 12, continued

Summary Chapter 12, continued

Summary: Chapter 12, continued

Note: from “Crake in Love” through “Airlock”

A few days after he arrived at Paradice, Jimmy noticed a woman inside the bubble dome and instantly recognized her. Crake told Jimmy that her name was Oryx and that her job was to teach the people in the enclosure. She also travelled frequently, distributing trial samples of BlyssPluss in “sex clinics” around the world. Jimmy quickly realized that Crake was in love with her. When Jimmy asked Crake where he found her, Crake replied that he had met her when he was a student at Watson-Crick. She was a prostitute.

Jimmy felt tormented by desire for Oryx, but out of respect for Crake he didn’t make any moves. Eventually, though, Oryx came to Jimmy and seduced him.

One night Jimmy asked Oryx about her experience in the garage. At first, Oryx insisted that she was never kept in a garage, but when Jimmy pressed her, she said that the man who locked her up was kind. In spite of her admission, Jimmy suspected that Oryx might merely have humored him.

In the present time, Snowman thinks about a scene with Oryx that he’s replayed many times, and he wonders to himself what he could have done differently. He remembers a night when Oryx wanted to go get takeout, and she promised she’d come right back with pizza. Jimmy tried to stall her and fantasized out loud about running away together.

Snowman recalls bad omens that he missed at the time, such as when Crake asked him if he would kill someone he loved to spare them pain. At another time, Crake informed Jimmy that if anything happened to him, Jimmy would have to look after the Paradice Project. When Jimmy asked if it would be better to put Oryx in charge, Crake responded that if he wasn’t around, then Oryx wouldn’t be around either.

Returning to the scene before Oryx left for takeout, Jimmy voiced his suspicion that Crake knew about their relationship, but Oryx dismissed Jimmy’s worry that Crake felt jealous. Before she left, she asked Jimmy to take care of the Crakers if she and Crake disappeared.