Oryx and Crake

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Inside Symbol Icon
The book repeatedly draws attention to the difference between “inside” and “outside” and the efforts to keep the two separated. The emphasis on sanitation is an indication of this: keeping the clean “in” and the dirty “out.” Many people in the compounds work to keep viruses out of human cells (Jimmy’s mom says her job is to put “locks” on the doors of cell walls) and to keep diseases out of the compound. In addition, the Compounds are “inside,” set apart by domes, gates, and doors, inhabited by wealthy families employed by large research corporations. Snowman enjoyed the privilege of the “inside” his whole life, as a “Compound brat” and as an employee working inside Crake’s airlocked “paradice.” “Inside” represents cleanliness, health, familiarity, wealth and comfort, though it is also possible to argue that it represents being closed off and therefore blind to the world.
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Inside Symbol Timeline in Oryx and Crake

The timeline below shows where the symbol Inside appears in Oryx and Crake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities  Theme Icon
...explain to him what a disease does, how it attacks the cells and changes things inside you—and that if enough cells are infected, the disease takes over. Jimmy doesn’t understand right... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
...outside, to a city, and has heard that the cities are dirty and dangerous. People within the compounds refer to cities and their surrounding areas as “the pleeblands.” Jimmy’s father likes... (full context)