Oryx and Crake


Margaret Atwood

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Oryx and Crake makes teaching easy.

Jimmy (Snowman)

Jimmy is the novel’s protagonist, who was the best friend of Crake and deeply in love with Oryx before they were both killed at the start of the plague. After they are dead and Jimmy… read analysis of Jimmy (Snowman)


Crake’s given name is technically “Glenn,” but Jimmy notes this just once, and only to confirm that he should in fact be called Crake. His name is borrowed from the game Extinctathon, which tests players… read analysis of Crake


Both Jimmy and Crake are in love with Oryx. Jimmy believes he saw Oryx on a child pornography site when he was 14, again on the news when she was discovered as an enslaved sex-worker… read analysis of Oryx

The Crakers

The Crakers are the result of Crake’s project “Paradice.” He pitches them as “floor models”—or examples of all of the various genetic modifications that could be sold separately to parents who were willing to… read analysis of The Crakers


MaddAddam is the mysterious game master of the game “Extinctathon,” where players are tested on their knowledge of extinct species. Maddaddam uses the game to recruit ideas for subversive or rebellious “initiatives” (like devising a… read analysis of MaddAddam
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Jimmy’s mother was once a highly regarded scientist, but she became disillusioned with her work and quit, claiming that she simply wanted to spend more time with her son. She is depressed and her… read analysis of Sharon

Jimmy’s father

Jimmy’s father is a very absent figure in Jimmy’s life. He is professionally successful, and does not display any misgivings about the ethics of the work he or anyone else does at his company… read analysis of Jimmy’s father


Killer is a “racunk” that Jimmy’s father brought home from work. It is a creature created by splicing together a raccoon and a skunk, to achieve a desirable combination of docility and cleanliness. Jimmy quickly… read analysis of Killer


Ramona is Jimmy’s father’s girlfriend, who moves in after Sharon’s disappearance. Ramona is a longtime assistant and colleague of Jimmy’s father, and Jimmy suspects that they have been in love for quite some… read analysis of Ramona

Crake’s mother

Crake’s mother appears very infrequently. She is kind to Crake and Jimmy, and carefully fixes food for them when they are at Crake’s house. She respects Crake’s privacy, and makes a point of never… read analysis of Crake’s mother

Crake’s father

Crake’s father dies when Crake is very young. The story is that he fell off an overpass, but Crake believes his father knew about and objected to the common corporate practice of introducing disease into… read analysis of Crake’s father

Uncle Pete

Crake’s stepfather insists that Crake call him “Uncle Pete.” He was Crake’s father’s boss before his death, and has since moved in with and married Crake’s mother. Uncle Pete is good natured and… read analysis of Uncle Pete


Bernice lives across the hall from Jimmy during his time at Martha Graham Academy. She is an avid animal rights activists, environmentalist, and vegan whom Jimmy finds deeply unattractive. After leaving Martha Graham Bernice becomes… read analysis of Bernice

Amanda Payne

Amanda is Jimmy’s girlfriend after he leaves Martha Graham. She is fiercely individualistic installation artist who grew up in the Pleeblands, and who does not have a favorable view of the Compounds or the… read analysis of Amanda Payne
Minor Characters
Uncle En
Uncle En is the name of the man who takes Oryx from her home as a child and puts her to work selling flowers on the streets, and eventually tempting older men into hotel rooms where they could be extorted. He is eventually murdered and dumped in a river.
Jack is the American film producer who uses Oryx in his child pornography. Oryx remembers Jack as a nice man, who often acted sad and guilty. He asks Oryx for sexual favors in return for English lessons.
Wakulla Price
This is Jimmy’s first crush. She never shows interest in him, and eventually moves away from HelthWyzer High. Jimmy never sees her again.
Ms. Sally Stratton
An old schoolteacher of Jimmy’s, whom he found attractive when he was a boy.