Oryx and Crake

Oryx Character Analysis

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 in a garage in San Francisco, and finally when she is working for Crake on the Paradise project. Oryx never confirms that these images were in fact of her, and it is possible that the character Jimmy thinks of as “Oryx” is in fact several people. We do know that the Oryx who works as a caretaker to the Crakers in Paradice participated in various kinds of sex work, and started at a very young age. She was taken from her home by a man named Uncle En, who asked her to sell flowers on the street before using her beauty to lure men into hotel rooms and extort them. After Uncle En is murdered, Oryx then then worked for an adult filmmaker man named Jack, who directs child pornography involving Oryx and several other children. Jack begins to teach Oryx English in exchange for sexual favors. She is then purchased from Jack by a San Francisco artist, who saw her on TV and wanted to give her a better life. She is kept in his garage where she continues to learn English until she is finally discovered and released. Crake meets her through a prostitution service sponsored by his school, Watson and Crick. After this first encounter, he arranges to meet with her again, and eventually hires her for project Paradice. Oryx is relentlessly optimistic, peaceful and positive, to the extent that it frustrates and angers Jimmy, who can’t see how she doesn’t bear any ill will towards the various people who have exploited her. Her patience and simplicity make her an ideal teacher for the Crakers, whom she loves and cares about deeply. Though she is not as fond of Crake as she is of Jimmy, she deeply admires Crake and his project because she believes Crake wants to end human suffering. Oryx is killed shortly after the plague begins, when Crake slits her throat (and is murdered by Jimmy as a result).

Oryx Quotes in Oryx and Crake

The Oryx and Crake quotes below are all either spoken by Oryx or refer to Oryx. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Oryx and Crake published in 2004.
Chapter 6 Quotes

But love was undependable, it came and then it went, so it was good to have a money value, because then at least those who wanted to make a profit from you would make sure you were fed enough and not damaged too much.

Related Characters: Oryx
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Oryx and Crake quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 13 Quotes

Here are Crake and Oryx, what’s left of them. They’ve been vulturized, they’re scattered here and there, small and large bones mingled into disarray…He’s grinning with all the teeth in his head. As for Oryx, she’s face down, she’s turned her head away from him as if in mourning. The ribbon in her hair is as pink as ever.

Related Characters: Jimmy (Snowman), Crake, Oryx
Page Number: 335
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat

Get the entire Oryx and Crake LitChart as a printable PDF.
Oryx and crake.pdf.medium

Oryx Character Timeline in Oryx and Crake

The timeline below shows where the character Oryx appears in Oryx and Crake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...though he is slowly starving to death. Snowman sadly notes that the woman is not Oryx, and that Oryx rarely talks to him anymore. He thinks the voice is of a... (full context)
Chapter 3
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...ninth birthday, when his dad had given him a pocketknife. Snowman recalls, years later, telling Oryx about the knife, and Oryx telling him, “you need to give money when someone gives... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...the watering hole, predators can be found there. Snowman settles for imagining the pool, and Oryx floating in it, though the image makes him feel uneasy. (full context)
Chapter 4
Humans & Animals Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...feel better. He wants someone to talk to. He is reminded of a moment when Oryx asked him if he had ever really talked to her. (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...particular afternoon in March, they go on a site called “HottTotts,” and here they see Oryx for the first time. She is about eight years old performing sexual acts on a... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
When Jimmy shows this picture to Oryx years later, when she’s in his bed, she tells him she doesn’t believe it’s her.... (full context)
Chapter 5
Humans & Animals Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
...that the Crakers themselves are the Children of Crake, and animals are the Children of Oryx. Snowman works to maintain internal consistency in his stories, and the Crakers trust and believe... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
...the “Great Emptiness” so there would be room for his children, and the children of Oryx. The Crakers respond with adulation, thanking Crake for his kindness and generosity. Snowman hates to... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...as he is about to pass out, he tries to conjure up an image of Oryx, but she fails to come to him. (full context)
Chapter 6
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Oryx. Snowman wakes up in the middle of the night suddenly. He feels Oryx near him.... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
Jimmy pieces together Oryx’s story, but he imagines the story is different according to every person who’s met her.... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Birdcall. Uncle En led Oryx and her brother, along with other children, out of the village. Oryx was scared walking... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Roses. Oryx and the other children were brought to a big city. It was very chaotic and... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...their hand they should refuse to go. One day a man does try to grab Oryx. She escapes and tells Uncle En. He sits down with her and says that the... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...had sold his flower business and the children are going to be taken elsewhere. Later, Oryx would hear that Uncle En’s throat was cut and he was thrown in the river.... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Oryx and the children are loaded into a truck and taken to a wealthy looking building... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
This is unwelcome news to Jimmy, who calls Jack pathetic. Oryx wonders why Jimmy dislikes Jack, and notes that she and Jimmy have done far more... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
The building where Oryx films her movies is called “Pixieland.” As Oryx learns English she begins to sing English... (full context)
Chapter 7
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Humans & Animals Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...they were forced to throw rocks at the animal. The say they will apologize to Oryx tonight for harming the animal, and ask her to prevent bites in the future. Snowman... (full context)
Chapter 8
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...to use the story of his mother to draw women in—it works on everyone except Oryx. (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...“find his playroom.” In order to do so Crake brings up a picture of 8-year-old Oryx, from the screenshot taken years ago, and clicks on her eye. It opens the playroom.... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...he could be caught, but really the thing on his mind is the picture of Oryx, and why Crake had chosen it for his gateway. (full context)
Chapter 9
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Humans & Animals Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...some cashews. The lights go out, and Snowman hunkers down and prepares for dreams of Oryx. (full context)
Chapter 10
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...scandal in San Francisco—several girls had been discovered locked in garages, kept as sexual slaves. Oryx’s face appears on the screen, now about 18 or 19 years old. She is calm... (full context)
Chapter 12
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Crake in Love. As a storm rages, Snowman is in turmoil thinking of Oryx—of her laugh, her optimism, her belief in Crake. He wonders if Oryx is the same... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...show them what to eat and how to live. Jimmy recognizes her, in shock, as Oryx, from the screen shot and from the news, but says nothing to Crake. Crake explains... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...to give her a position. As Crake talks, Jimmy realizes Crake is in love with Oryx. (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Jimmy and Crake wait for Oryx to join them for lunch. Jimmy asks questions mostly as an excuse to stare at... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Jimmy spends his days longing for Oryx. He knows he can’t touch her, because Crake is his friend, but nevertheless he can’t... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
They carry on their affair, and it appears Crake doesn’t know. Oryx explains she is useful to Crake because she has contacts at sex clinics and whorehouses... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Jimmy asks Oryx what happened to her in the garage in San Francisco. She asks what garage, and... (full context)
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
...darkest part of his memory. “What if” questions fly through his mind. He imagines telling Oryx “Don’t go. Stay here.” He imagines that he told her he had a gut feeling... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
But Jimmy, in fact, has no gut feeling this happy evening when Oryx is at his house. Jimmy asks her if she loves him, and she laughs. After... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...curses himself for not taking this seriously. Crake had also suggested that if he died, Oryx would die too. Jimmy had laughed this off, and found Crake’s ego remarkable. (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Jimmy is insisting to Oryx that Crake knows about their affair—he’s not sure why. Perhaps to scare her into running... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Airlock. Jimmy waits for Oryx for a long time. He becomes increasingly uneasy and then feels panicked. Meanwhile, he receives... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Jimmy drinks and watches news of the spreading plague as he waits for word from Oryx, but it never comes. Jimmy hears beeping at the door. Crake is trying to punch... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
...information, but agrees to let Crake in. When Crake enters, Jimmy sees that Crake has Oryx draped over his arm and that Crake is carrying a jackknife. Oryx seems to be... (full context)
Chapter 13
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
...even more. When he comes to the entrance of Paradice, the bodies of Crake and Oryx are still there, in each other’s arms. Crake’s skeletal face looks like it’s grinning, and... (full context)
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...in groups, and Jimmy can hear through the hidden microphones that they are wondering where Oryx has gone. They comfort themselves by remembering that Oryx had once told them that she... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...Communication with foreign nations is cut off. Jimmy watches the coverage and thinks only of Oryx and Crake—whether Crake knew, whether Oryx loved Jimmy at all. Had Crake been intellectually honorable?... (full context)
Scientific Progress & Its Costs Theme Icon
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
The State of Human Relationships Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
He leads the Crakers out of the dome. On the way they pass Oryx and Crake's bodies, crumpled and already decayed. The Crakers ask what those forms are and... (full context)
Chapter 14
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
...could never understand. He decides he will just tell them, “Crake is watching over you. Oryx loves you.” (full context)