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Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
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Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

Quote 2

When did the body first set out on its own adventures? Snowman thinks; after having ditched its old travelling companions, the mind and the soul, for whom it had once been considered a mere corrupt vessel or else a puppet acting out their dramas for them, or else bad company, leading the other two astray.

Snowman has this thought in chapter 4, in the midst of recollections about how he and Crake used to watch graphic videos of violence and sex on the internet. Adopting an unusually philosophical tone, Snowman asks himself a rhetorical question about desire. He wants to know when and why a person leaves behind their various intellectual and moral hang-ups (i.e., “the mind and the soul”) and allows themselves to pursue whatever the body desires. Snowman suggests that the body is typically considered a mere puppet taking its commands from some higher entity. Yet Snowman believes that something different was happening when he and Crake started consuming such graphic media. Instead of taking orders from “the mind” or “the soul,” Snowman claims that his body abandoned these “old travelling companions” and “set out on its own adventures” instead. The fact that Snowman interjects this thought into the midst of his own recollections suggests that he still feels shame about his early interest in watching executions and pornography. As such, he tries to justify his own desires to himself.