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Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood
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Summary

Chapter 10

Summary Chapter 10

Summary: Chapter 10

Jimmy graduated from Martha Graham and began working for the Academy’s library. The job entailed sorting through old books, selecting some to be digitized and others to be destroyed. Jimmy, however, could not bear to throw away any books, so he lost his job partway into the summer.

After losing his job, he moved in with his then-girlfriend, Amanda Payne. Amanda was a conceptual artist who had been working on a series of Vulture Sculptures, which involved transporting truckloads of dead animal parts to fields or parking lots, arranging the parts into words, and photographing the action once vultures descended. She only used four-letter words for her installations, like “WHOM” and “GUTS,” and she claimed that “vulturizing” these words activated them and brought them to life.

Amanda had two roommates, who frequently shared their opinions on the state of the world. For instance, they claimed that humankind was doomed from the time when agriculture was invented. Jimmy did not get along with Amanda’s roommates, and he rejected their theory of humanity.

Eventually Jimmy landed an advertising job at AnooYoo, a company that designed and sold a variety of self-help products. Jimmy got the job due to his undergraduate dissertation on twentieth-century self-help books. At AnooYoo, Jimmy quickly mastered the art of using fear, desire, and revulsion in his advertising campaigns, which made him a hit with his bosses. Jimmy got a promotion, and he also began to sleep with a variety of women whom he thought of as his “lovers.” Many of these women were married, and none of them wanted to leave their husbands for Jimmy.

Jimmy’s life at AnooYoo grew increasingly tiresome and depressing over the years. Crake, by contrast, already had an impressive career. Soon after graduating early from Watson-Crick, he began working at RejoovenEsense. He quickly climbed the ladder there and became the head of his own “white-hot” special project.

Around this time, Crake told Jimmy that Uncle Pete had died from a virus that took him down suddenly and violently. Jimmy asked whether Crake was there when Uncle Pete died, and Crake responded: “In a manner of speaking.” After this news, communication between Jimmy and Crake dwindled.