My final project focuses on the issue of genetic engineering and the limits and morality of science, and how Margaret Atwood uses Oryx and Crake to reflect on that issue. My proposal was too broad and two vague, and that has been the main problem I’ve been trying to correct. I’m getting closer to being precise with the essay, but I still feel like I have a long ways to go.
The issue is partly due to the abundance of research on the topic. That’s been very interesting and entertaining for me while I work on the project. With Oryx and Crake, Atwood’s “speculative fiction” thing where she writes about the relevant possibilities of science, definitely rings true. Genetic engineering has been such a hotbed of interest and controversy for the past decade or so that there is an incredible amount of literature on it. A lot of sources I’ve found have to deal with documented studies and chronicles of genetically engineered creatures, rather than the bioethics debate it has created. For me, it’s been so fascinating to read about the actual capabilities of science, that I sometimes am losing the actual focus on the novel and instead wandering into a paper about science and the capabilities of genetic engineering.
I moved in the right direction with my bibliographic essay in that I turned my focus to the ways in which Atwood reflects and comments on the bioethics debate, instead of simply talking about the science in Oryx and Crake in relativity to today’s science. Now, in my first draft, I’m working on developing that idea further and making the research sit in context with that idea instead of being these ‘argument’/’evidence’ chunks.