On page 562, Robinson depicts the death of Frank Chalmers. As a result of the death of Frank, I was yet again reminded of Oryx and Crake. There are many parallels between the novels, so I think Robinson and Atwood would become quick friends with one another.
Crake was a disturbed mastermind who desired an alternative beginning for the world. However, Crake ended up committing suicide well before the result of destruction. As a result, Jimmy was given the option of starting yet another beginning, but I think many of us were left with the question of whether the next beginning will be a success. Similar to Crake, Boone and Chalmers did not survive the novel. They have mutual desires and personality characteristics of Crake. Boone and Chalmers were both manipulative as similar to Crake. Chalmers was able to project a personality opposite than what he was truly hiding under, which I think Crake did through his disappearance and odd moments of not answer questions asked by Jimmy. In the peculiar and decisive thought process of Michel, I found a little bit of Crake as well, but Michel ended up taking a more of a supportive route rather than a destructive one. It’s even a bit odd how Chalmers killed Boone before having an almost-suicide-self-sacrificial death similar to how Crake killed Oryx before having a definitely-suicide-self-sacrificial death.
There are even a couple of parallels with the characters and Jimmy. Ann and Jimmy both feel for the natural world more than other characters, although I think Ann appears much more smart than Jimmy, but I think they each have a bit of a disrespectful attitude going on throughout the novel. The less evil characters are left with the establishment of yet another beginning, similar to how Jimmy was alone until wandering upon others. Each novel conveys the transformation of an entire world, which Earth versus Mars and natural versus unnatural.
One thing that I was very aware: Red Mars and Oryx and Crake both end with a beginning. They appear as a cycle with a similar thought mentioned as the beginning and end of each novel. I am a bit jarred by the similarities of the novels, but I am more so jarred by the similar function of each novel. I situate one beside the other yet again, which I think has a more education thought now that I have concluded Red Mars.
As a result, I am thinking that Robinson and Atwood have very big questions to ask and prompt about humankind. They are each providing novels that allude to questions of human choice and intervention with a result of destruction. They each have varying characters with varying situations, but I think they have very similar cores.
So I ask – So what? Why would two authors supply these novels? Why are they so similar? – I think they are each attempting to get us thinking and questioning ourselves. I do not think that they were like for us to apply the novels to our own environment, but I do think that we become keenly aware of our surroundings and current choices despite that. The novels are widely different, but I am experiencing a similar result to the conclusion both novels. I can give a simple explanation as, well, I simply view the novels that way, but I think setting each author aside one another does seem to have a bit of a more explanation.
So my answer to – So what? – will be that Robinson and Atwood both want us to internalize the words that they thoughtfully planned. We will each do different things with the results and thoughts, but I think they share the function of getting us to think about human intervention rather than simply intervening without thought.