Study Guide

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park Themes

Themes

Vanity and the human capacity for deception — of the self as well as others — in the service of greed make for a frightening combination. Certainly it seems like vanity to walk into the great unknown with an inadequate understanding of what can go wrong and a refusal to listen to the available experts by denigrating them into mere "hired hands," yet this is just what is done by John Hammond, a wealthy eccentric and his partners, venture capitalists, who have bankrolled Jurassic Park. They have allowed themselves to be persuaded to make the venture possible by Hammond, a sort of sinister P.T. Barnum, without fully considering responsibilities that success might entail. Could InGen, under pressure to meet their deadline, be taking the time to do adequate research on security, especially since gaps in the DNA sequences have been filled with genes from modern species by the lead scientist. Dr. Henry Wu? As a molecular geneticist Wu cannot guarantee the behavior of his creations until after they mature; what might these hybrids be capable of that the original dinosaurs were not?

Hammond's people have built in physical and biological safeguards against accidental escape by the denizens of the park: giant electrical fences and metabolic deficiencies. But the team of outside experts quickly begin to note gaps in security that the InGen people have been too close to the project to see. Even though Hammond's intention of bringing them in for a quick visit was...

(The entire section is 564 words.)