Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Idol. Snowman packs up the old food he has found in the storage area in Paradice, and makes his way back towards the Crakers, out of RejoovenEsense. He scans the horizon for signs of smoke but sees nothing. His journey is long and painful, and he is relieved to make it back to the seashore. As he approaches their village, he hears a strange kind of chanting. He thinks he hears the Crakers chanting “Amen.”
Snowman makes it back to the Crakers as he promised them—in his delirium, he thinks he hears the Crakers saying “amen”—a word they could not possibly know. For a moment we wonder if Crake was unable to breed “amen” out of his redesigned humanity, if “amen” is more fundamentally innate than he Crake touch.
Themes
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
He reaches their camp and finds them chanting around a strange statue. When they see him they are elated. They tell him they’ve made a picture of him, and point to the statue. They say they thought it would help him find his way home. Snowman realizes they were chanting “Snowman,” not Amen. He also notes that they have made art, though Crake said they would not.
The phonetic resemblance between Snowman’s name and “amen,” a word of prayer is revealed, and in fact they were in a way praying to the “picture”—the art— representing Snowman that they had made. Snowman here is established as a kind of savior—not only of the Crakers, but of language, humanity, and mythology, and art—the Crakers have constructed a statue of him. They not only understand images and artistic representations; they are also capable of creating them.
Themes
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
The Crakers ask about Crake’s whereabouts, and Snowman tells them Crake is in Paradice, and that they cannot go see him. They accept this. When they notice his foot they are very concerned, and insist he must let them purr so that it may heal faster. Snowman is delirious with pain and submits. They see he is very exhausted and suggest bringing him a fish to make him feel better. Snowman is grateful for this and accepts and eats the fish.
The Crakers take care of Snowman just as he took care of them. This reciprocation is tender, and seems to reveal real compassion. They are capable of understanding and catering to Snowman’s needs, and they do care deeply, it seems about his health, happiness, and welfare.
Themes
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
Sermon. After his meal, the Crakers tell Snowman that others like him have passed through the area. Snowman is shocked and asks them to explain. They say that a day earlier, two men and a woman, all of whom looked very unhappy, had passed through. The Crakers had smelled pheromones on the woman and had initiated sexual courting, but this made the three strangers flee. Snowman says he will go find them in the morning. The Crakers worry that he is not well enough, but Snowman insists. They agree that he can go but say he must have more purring first. Snowman agrees, and wonders if purring will actually work on his flesh. He lets his mind wander to Blood vs. Roses—major historical events trail through his mind.
The plume of smoke Snowman observed from the rampart was in fact a man-made fire. Snowman’s hopes that other humans have survived has been confirmed. As if this realization resurrects human history itself, the events recorded in Blood and Roses trail through his mind. All the while the Crakers purr into his wound—Snowman wonders if this animal remedy will actually work on his flesh, but lets his mind turn instead to history, to the history of his own species, to humanity,
Themes
Humans & Animals Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Get the entire Oryx and Crake LitChart as a printable PDF.
Oryx and crake.pdf.medium
As Snowman prepares to leave in the morning, he imagines giving a sermon to the Crakers about what they should do if these new people mistreat them. He wonders how he could explain to them the risks—of violence, slavery, rape, theft—and realizes they could never understand. He decides he will just tell them, “Crake is watching over you. Oryx loves you.”
The dark side of humanity and of human history rears its head. Crake cannot imagine explaining to the Crakers the kinds of atrocities that humans are capable of committing—he does not know how to protect them from it. He decides he could not make them understand, he could only try to comfort them with the knowledge that Oryx loves them. And so Oryx serves for the Crakers a similar kind of nurturing, protecting, loving role that she played for Jimmy. She was an idealized woman for Jimmy. She is an idealized goddess for the Crakers.
Themes
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon