Oryx and Crake


Margaret Atwood

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Outside Symbol Icon
The Pleeblands are “outside”—lawlessness, disease, and poverty abound. Contagion threatens to break into the body from air or water. Outside stands for fear, foreignness, dirtiness, poverty, and desolation. After the plague, the inside and outside are no longer separated, and the whole world becomes outside. Outside thus stands for the breakdown of order—social, economic, and cultural hierarchies are meaningless “outside.”

Outside Quotes in Oryx and Crake

The Oryx and Crake quotes below all refer to the symbol of Outside. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Oryx and Crake published in 2004.
Chapter 8 Quotes

How could I have missed it? Snowman thinks. What he was telling me? How could I have been so stupid?...
There had been something willed about it, though, his ignorance…he’d grown up in walled spaces, and then he’d become one. He had shut things out.

Related Characters: Jimmy (Snowman), Crake
Related Symbols: Inside, Outside
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

Maybe the guards tried to get out of RejoovenEsense just like everyone else. Maybe they, too, hoped they could outrun contagion.

Related Characters: Jimmy (Snowman) (speaker)
Related Symbols: Inside, Outside
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:
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Oryx and Crake PDF

Outside Symbol Timeline in Oryx and Crake

The timeline below shows where the symbol Outside 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
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
History, Language & the Humanities Theme Icon
Extinction & Evolution Theme Icon
...clear that a new kind of virus had been introduced in the livestock population from outside. Jimmy’s father and the other man lament that their paid security forces failed to do... (full context)
Corporate Power & Commodification Theme Icon
...insular and secure community built for company employees and their families. Jimmy has never been outside, to a city, and has heard that the cities are dirty and dangerous. People within... (full context)