Capitalism and Fabrication of Hyper-reality: A Baudrillardian Reading of Margaret Atwood’s "Oryx and Crake"

By Sima Farshid and Behnam Moradizadeh.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The outset of Margaret Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake” (2004) presents the global annihilation of the whole human race, with the survival of only one human and some “dehumanized” humans created by a young scientist. Then the pre-apocalyptic world of the novel is depicted through recollections of that survived human – a globalized community dominated by multinational corporations whose thirst for profit seems inexhaustible, thus employ several scientists to invent new technological products to bring in more returns for them. These scientists manipulate reality by engendering lab-made creatures that are produced via bioengineering. Besides their fabrication of “hyper-reality,” the mass media perpetually provoke various desires in people by advertizing the products of those scientists, so that more revenue could be obtained for those corporations and their power could be upheld. Everything seems to be available by the means of technology in this illusive, consuming world manipulated by scientists and mass media. The writers of this article present a Baudrillardian reading of Atwood’s speculative fiction to illustrate how the “simulation” of reality by scientists and media at the service of capitalists might bring about the extinction of humankind – presented by Atwood as the probable end of a world ruled by capitalism.

Keywords: Apoclypse, Capitalism, Globalization, Simulation of Reality, Fabrication of Hyper-reality

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 416.475KB).

Dr. Sima Farshid

Assistant Professor, English Department, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, Alborz, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

She is an assistant professor who mostly teaches modern fiction and drama. She has taught English and American literature for sixteen years, has been the head of English Department for four years, and directed graduate studies in the English literature for three years at Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch.

Behnam Moradizadeh

Graduate Student, English Department, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, Alborz, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

He has studied English literature at Islamic Azad University, Bushehr and Karaj branches, and is going to obtain his MA degree from the latter.