Once I began to read part five of Red Mars, I began to be reminded of Oryx and Crake. Particularly because I think that there are significant quotes from Red Mars that can be situated within the natural versus unnatural theme that appeared within Oryx and Crake.
As a bit of a reminder, In Oryx and Crake, I think that we had a difficult time locating any sense of nature beside a cultural and constructed version of nature. In other words, I think an unnatural version of nature or a technological version of nature as the only form of nature. In Oryx and Crake, I think that nature appeared as a culture that involved altering or implementing our own version of nature into our environment, which I think can be seen within a quote from Red Mars. It can also be seen within Red Mars as a whole since they are altering an entire planet, similar to the result of the brainiac (cough, evil mastermind?!) that Crake was.
Robinson wrote, “The reds say that the Mars that is already here is nature. But it is not nature, because it is dead. It is only rock. The greens tell this, and they say that they will bring nature to Mars with their terraforming. But that is not nature either, that is only culture” (258). That appears as a parallel situation to what appeared within Oryx and Crake. It does because, as I wrote above, I do not think any culture existed beside the cultural version of nature. In Red Mars, I think that we received a minor glimpse of nature as they were arriving to Mars. However, I think that sense of nature vanished as soon as they stepped foot onto Mars.
The quote portion that I wrote above comes soon after John can be read saying, “ . . . We’ve got a chance to create a new society our here, everything’s changing on the technical level and the societal level might as well follow. I’m not exactly sure what the new society should be or look like, that’s that hard part after all, but I know that it should be done . . . ” (257). That’s the moment that John began to remind me of Crake. They both feel as though the current society does not reach a standard, and I think they each are taking it upon themselves to construct and implement a new society. As we know, society encompasses nature and culture as sort of a combination. Although I think Crake appears as more of a mastermind while John appears as playing a hero role, I think they are both deceptive with a goal of creating a new society. Altogether, Red Mars and Oryx and Crake both share a sense of an unnatural version of nature.
After noticing that Red Mars and Oryx and Crake can be situated near one another, I began to wonder whether Red Mars will have a similar fate as Oryx and Crake. Even though there are two additional novels after our current Red Mars, I wonder more about the fate of society, culture, and natures of the character group. In Oryx and Crake, Atwood ended the novel with a question. It does not draw a clear line between Jimmy moving forward or an answer as to whether the culture of nature was going to be destructive or constructive, so I wonder whether Red Mars will give us an answer about an unnatural nature that Oryx and Crake could not.