Crakenstein’s Brave New Pandemic World: The Place of Art, Science, and Storytelling

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The present article aims at examining the place of art, science, and storytelling in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), comparing the novel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), mainly in what concerns some characters who are on the margins. In this context, scientific knowledge set against humanistic knowledge is the generating principle of social inequalities, and people concerned with arts are relegated to an inferior place. In the three novels, those who value words amid the techno-scientific developments of society are condemned to live alone for not fitting in. However, Oryx and Crake presents a possible rereading of Shelley’s and Huxley’s works, leading the central character to a less tragic closure, even though still in a devastated landscape. Ironically, in the aftermath of a pandemic, when the rules of science do no longer apply, it is a “words person” who survives, embracing his existence all through the act of storytelling. Atwood’s novel, therefore, celebrates and updates the classics in some way, transposing them to a brand-new universe, where – through her apocalyptic visions – it is also possible to make a parallel with the new coronavirus pandemic that we have faced in the real scenario.

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Como Citar
Pires de Souza, R. (2021). Crakenstein’s Brave New Pandemic World: The Place of Art, Science, and Storytelling. Abusões, 15(15).
“Ficções e epidemias – paisagens, políticas e catástrofes”
Biografia do Autor

Renata Pires de Souza

Renata Pires de Souza é Mestra em Letras, com ênfase em Literaturas de Língua Inglesa, pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Atuou como professora substituta de português e inglês no Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul (IFRS) e como professora assistente de português como língua adicional na Universidade da Califórnia Santa Bárbara (UCSB), através do programa FLTA da Comissão Fulbright. Tem interesse nas seguintes áreas de pesquisa: literaturas e culturas de língua inglesa, teoria literária, literatura comparada, estudos de tradução e cinema.