In the novel Oryx and Crake, what are the importance of fridge magnets?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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“You could tell a lot about a person from their fridge magnets, not that he’d thought much about them at the time," says Jimmy towards the end of the novel as he comments on the fridge magnets that Crake ironically chose and enjoyed. We are presented with a world which has been devastated by a killer virus, and language, in all of its senses has been spliced just like the Crakers. Jimmy desperately and perhaps vainly tries to cling on to words that are now redundant. Snowman is a classic example. Jimmy says to himself "Hang on to the words" as if there is some form of liberation in remembering words that possibly no one else on earth has ever come across. Crake's fridge magnets, however, undercut this view by presenting us with the way that scientific advances have affected and impacted even the purity of language. Note the irony in "Little spoat/gider, who made thee?" The deilberate misquote from Blake is updated to include the rampant splicing and mixing of genes. In spite of Jimmy's best efforts, not even Blake is sacred.

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