Last Updated on September 6, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 476
Crake is one of the main characters of Oryx and Crake. His given name is Glenn; his father named him after “a dead pianist, some boy genius with two n’s.” He is arrogant, manipulative, and convinced that he knows better than anyone else about how the world needs to be. He is willing to manipulate his best friend, sacrifice his girlfriend, and kill almost every person on Earth to achieve his ends.
Crake is disillusioned with the modern world; this leads him to create the Crakers. They are genetically modified humans who only live to be thirty, are generally peaceful, and can live in harmony with nature. Crake releases a poison to kill everyone on Earth so that the Crakers can be the only inhabitants, leaving his best friend as the only person left to guide them.
Jimmy goes by the name of Snowman after humanity is gone. He grew up with Crake and works for him after he graduated. He is concerned about this friend’s mental state, is in love with Crake’s girlfriend, and is dedicated to taking care of the Crakers once the world changes. Jimmy was never the hard worker that Crake was; he only got his position through Crake. Jimmy was like the rest of society—always chasing the latest thrill.
Jimmy loves words and has a talent for using them. After the Crakers are left and the other humans are dead, he tells them stories with Oryx and Crake as god figures.
Oryx was abused as a child and sold into sexual slavery. Jimmy believes he saw her on television and online in the past. When she appears as Crake’s girlfriend, Jimmy falls in love with her. Oryx is cheerful and doesn't bear grudges, despite her past. She is the first teacher of the Crakers and has an affair with Jimmy despite being with Crake.
Sharon is Jimmy’s mother. She leaves Jimmy, and she writes to him sometimes but is eventually killed by the CorpSeCorps. They say she committed treason, but she may have regretted some of the work she did with them.
Ramona is the woman Jimmy’s father lives with after Sharon leaves him. Ramona worked as his lab technician before Sharon left.
Crake’s mother is a diagnostician at a hospital complex. She makes the boys snacks when Jimmy comes over and seems relatively uninterested in their exploits. Her frequent absence makes it easy for the boys to use Crake’s house in the afternoons.
Uncle Pete, Crake’s stepfather, is a friendly man. He married Crake's mother when Crake was 12. The boys use his code to access pornography. Crake says that they can steal his drugs because he only smokes when he wants to sleep with his wife—which isn’t often. He works in finance at HelthWyzer.