Perfection is a Liobam

One of the things that struck me about “The Year of the Flood” was the convoluted sense of perfection in the book.

Pigoons: pigs that grow human organs. From

  1. Corporations are trying to make perfect humans and perfect animals. That’s what’s up with all the gene-splicing; skin, hair, face, whatever replacements; the liobams and pigoons and even BlyssPlus (It’s perfect sex).
  2. Then there’s the God Gardener’s sense of perfection, which is a little more down to earth and involves trying to perfect human nature and especially human’s relationship to the earth and other animals.
  3. Then there’s Crake out there trying to create the perfect people, which apparently he does (Perfect to whom?), and does so by combining God Gardener’s beliefs and manpower with the gene-splicing creationism of the Corporations.

In the novel, it’s this push for perfection that ends humanity (Ironic that the guy who’s trying to create the perfect people ends up killing all the “unperfect” ones off – including himself). The book begs the question how close can you get to perfection before you create a monstrosity?

And then at the end of the book, you’re left with only two visions of perfection:

The Crakers (as they’re called in “Oryx and Crake”, the parallel-prequel that deals Crake, Oryx and Jimmy) who are supposedly perfect but will they survive this harsh new world? And will their world and themselves be any more perfect than ours (are we just not the right species)?

And the God’s Gardeners, mostly the more practical and more violent members, who get to use all their fun gardener skills in trying to rebuild this new world?

Are either of these two groups perfect? Or can they become perfect?

A snat, just another something OrganInc Farms.

More illustrations of “Oryx and Crake” at


2 Responses to “Perfection is a Liobam”

  1. This is a really fantastic argument about perfection in the text. Your comments about the arbitrariness of perfection are spot-on. The fine line between manufactured perfection and monstrosity suggests a critique of evolutionary theory as its been turned into a tool by scientists, rather than an order of things beyond human control. When evolutionary theory become accepted as scientific truth, especially in the first quarter of the 19th century, it was conceived as the solution to society’s ills. Hence, we get eugenics and a general cultural acceptance of the “unfit” not deserving to live. As you point out, the question always becomes, “who gets to decide what is ‘fit’ and what is ‘unfit'”?

  2. coolaccordionest Says:

    The pictures on this are great Randi. It’s one thing to think about something, but it’s also another to actually see it. It gives you a totally different perspective of things. I think seeing the man/pig things are what made it for me. It reminded me of that article we read that said that in the end the artists and writers would save the world.

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