Maddaddam As A Biblical Allegory
Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series is best described as a commentary of every aspect society. Atwood’s series has religion as a major theme. This is evident in the names she gives to different parts of her society (God’s Gardeners) and in the numerous biblical references and symbols like the snakes that Scales and Tails uses to tempt their morally corrupt customers. While there are numerous religious elements within each of the novels, the overall biblical plot is evident when looking at the entire series. Atwood used symbolisms, character development, tone, and tonality to make the MaddAddam series into a biblical metaphor.
The plot of the novel and the symbolism that it contains set the stage for the next events. The novel opens with an idea that everyone is trying to become God in the future society through gene experiments and scientific “progress”. Already, it becomes apparent that the society is similar to that of the Old Testament. People have started to believe they are invincible. They act selfishly and lack morality. The flood is then introduced. The flood idea is derived from Noah’s flood, in which God allowed Noah and the animals to live. Crake gives Jimmy the task of surviving the flood. He also assigns Jimmy the responsibility of caring for the Crakers. He creates an entirely new race, the humanoid Crakers. Jimmy is allowed to kill him in order to raise the new race. In the post flood world, he’s also considered a God. “Yes. Good, kind, Crake. Crake 64. Please stop singing. He acts in this manner much like Jesus in The New Testament. Jimmy’s background reveals that Jimmy is flawed and does not behave the way everyone expects. Atwood presents him as Jesus Christ as a depiction of the hero who came to save humanity. Jimmy becomes a spiritual guide for the Crakers and encourages them in ritualizing and worshipping Oryx, Crake, and Oryx. MaddAddam sees the culmination in Jimmy’s symbolism when he saves Toby and gives his life for society.
Atwood uses tone to convey the biblical vibe of the series. The Year of the Flood has a religious atmosphere thanks to the God’s gardeners. Atwood references the Bible in referring to Noah being given the task of saving the chosen animals. These lines reinforce Atwood’s biblical references and the story of Jimmy as Jesus Christ. Atwood also maintains the tone in Oryx or Crake. Before integrating the teachings God’s Gardensers with concepts like Jimmy’s idolization and worship of women who are not morally straight, Atwood also continues to use this tone. His love for Oryx, despite her morally flawed background, is a tone that corresponds to the Christian mindset.
Atwood’s humorous references to biblical scriptures may look like satirical jokes. The reader will soon realize that every religious allusion is part of a larger series about events in the Bible. Atwood, through her satire, mocks writing as well as her own series. Margaret Atwood’s use of symbolisms and character development as well as tone is what makes this satire so effective. Even in a world so far from the reader’s knowledge, the same human desire drives the inevitable, cyclical decline of humanity.