On example of scientific advancement in the novel is the genetically modified coffee bean: Happicuppa. Atwood writes: “Until then, the individual coffee beans on each bush had ripened at different times and had needed to be handpicked and processed and shipped in small quantities, but the Happicuppa coffee bush was designed so that all of its beans would ripen simultaneously, and coffee could be grown on huge plantations and harvested with machines” (Atwood 178-179). To maximize profits, the “Happicuppa coffee bush was designed” by a large corporation to possess desired traits. These traits allowed for the beans to “ripen simultaneously” and as a result “could be grown on huge plantations and harvested with machines” for much greater yield. This yield is very profitable, and could transfer wealth into the hands of the corporations. Atwood continues: “This threw the small growers out of business and reduced both them and their labourers to starvation-level poverty” (Atwood 179). The author refers to the other growers as “small growers” to emphasize the difference in wealth between them and the large c...
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...uing and incredibly useful, it eventually destroyed the society in which it was developed. Even though scientific advancement can improve living conditions and solve global issues, it can create them as well. As seen through the genetic modification of coffee beans, the creation of profitable diseases, and the development of the BlyssPluss Pill, the profits generated through technology trigger human greed. This greed leads to extreme capitalism that feeds the economic gap of society and puts the world in control of gigantic corporations. The growth of technology is only beneficial up to a certain extent, otherwise it could lead to catastrophic results through misuse. Atwood’s novel can serve as a warning against intense scientific progression. We as a society must heed that warning to control the potentially destructive technology civilization is so eager to create.
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