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The Epic of Gilgamesh and Oryx and Crake. Essay

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The more thought that is put into the true nature of human beings, the clearer the realization seems to be that as a species, humans are inclined to challenge limits that are thought to be understood and transcend set boundaries. This truth of human nature is quite effectively revealed in both The Epic of Gilgamesh and the novel Oryx and Crake. The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals more about the human disposition to push mortal boundaries. It explores the desire to challenge religious boundaries, which hold extreme repercussions, as well as fears that were faced when dealing with the truth of human mortality. Oryx and Crake, on the other hand, deals more with the human desire to attain eternal youth, and the moral boundaries that are pushed and most certainly crossed in those endeavours. As each text presents evidence to prove the presence of such desires in human nature, both also seem to argue that boundaries are set for reasons, and that nothing fruitful can come from the endeavour of crossing them.
The Epic of Gilgamesh immediately begins to deal with the human disposition to push limitations for the sport in it, even when there is no necessity which requires it. The reader immediately sees the main character, Gilgamesh, portrayed in an extreme fashion through “harrying the young men of Uruk beyond reason. Gilgamesh would leave no son to his father, day and night he would rampage fiercely.” Because he was of stronger stock, Gilgamesh found himself unable to resist demonstrating his greatness in comparison to others. Although utilizing ones abilities is clearly a good thing, doing so only through the waste of others when such force is not required is clearly a frivolous pursuit. Since Gilgamesh could find no proper means whereby to...


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...fferent ventures in testing the limitations of human life, they both certainly convey a definite end concerning the degree in which humans can change their fates. Oryx and Crake very directly establishes this, with the statement “grief in the face of inevitable death, the wish to stop time. The human condition,” summing up the mortal limitation and the pursuits of the society in the book quite nicely. The Epic of Gilgamesh also leaves the reader with a similar image to view the quest of breaking limitations with. The city begins and ends in the same way “one square mile of city, one square mile of gardens, one square mile of clay pits, a half square mile of Ishtar's dwelling, three and a half miles is the measure of Uruk.” Nothing about his world or city is changed despite all the trial that Gilgamesh faced throughout to challenge the boundaries that were in place.


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