Humanities Course Book Report: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park was originally published on November 20th, 1990 by Michael Crichton. I choose Jurassic Park because I love science fiction. I connected with this book the most because of how bizarre the book is and how had many questions on why the author set up the book the way he did with mysteries and complications. The story begins with people who wrongfully believe that they can create and control the natural world. The story starts in Costa Rica on an island that was made into a theme park to show off dinosaurs. Here dinosaurs roam unrestricted because there’s an electric fence that prevents them from getting out. But of course, the fences could easily be knocked down by the huge dinosaurs that the company has created. In the book, you will notice many themes that Michael Crichton is pointing out. The central theme of Jurassic Park the idea of technology that they don’t know how to control. However, once they begin control over the dinosaurs and use technology to do so, it can lead to huge consequences. Followed by other themes like man vs. nature, science, and technology.

A theme known as Man vs nature is shown throughout Jurassic Park. While reading the book it is very clear that the natural world is stronger than the man world, even though the man creates the natural world. The book tells us that the Island is closed in with the technology of a computer. The computer controls the gates and any electric system. What makes me wonder that if the place is controlled by technology and they make huge dinosaurs shouldn’t they have thought more into a backup plan without the use of technology just in case the power goes out? In the book, we find out that a storm is coming and it knocks out all the power to the island and their electrical gates that keep the animals inside.

This scene in the book makes me wonder how come a storm like this has never happened before? Especially when they’re on an Island. Why would the author put them on an island anyway? Is it because they believe that animals cannot survive off the island? Or is it because he wanted to show the man vs nature aspect? This is a huge problem for scientists and visitors because this puts their safety and life at a huge risk. How come the smartest scientist that can make a dinosaur not think of the power going out before? There on an island with the most dangerous creatures and somehow they never thought of the fact if the power goes out what would they do? Now there is nothing protecting the people from the dinosaurs because electric fences don’t work. The dinosaurs realize that they are not being kept in by a fence anymore, all hell breaks loose because now they break loose. I learned that Jurassic Park can change the natural world because the dinosaurs are now in control. This also shows a clear picture of the theme of man vs nature. Dinosaurs roaming the island as scientist run around trying to get the power back with a generator. I disagree with this scene because as this is all going on the dinosaurs already have killed 5 people out of the 10 that are there. If the dinosaurs are already out how are they going to be able to get them all back in through a fence when the electricity does come back on?

Science plays another theme throughout Jurassic Park because of the dinosaurs. Science plays a huge role as there are many scientists in the book. Although not every scientist in the book comes off as cocky. For example, Grant and Sattler (two of the scientist) put their scientific knowledge to good use by creating dinosaurs that are needed. But the plot essentially shows and involves scientists being stupid. I believe that the scientist was being stupid because there was no reason to breed velociraptors. The only reason, in my opinion, is so they could kill. If they knew that the place ran by a computer why would they make deadly dinosaurs? It kind of reminds me of a zoo because some zoos have deadly animals, for example, a venomous snake. When they get out its deadly and someone can easily get bitten and die. Why do they need hardcore animals? Which makes me think did Crichton make the scientist stupid so that this outbreak can happen? Then, there’s Ian Malcolm, who’s very critical of the procedures and the pride that he takes in the novel.

During the book, I realized that Jurassic Park failed because of the scientific failures that happened in the book. For example, the power going out which caused the gates not to work which causes the dinosaurs to escape. Also in the book Henry Wu lacked scientific knowledge when building the dinosaurs DNA because he built a dinosaur that can kill and made the biggest dinosaur to live. You would think scientist especially in the field of creating dinosaurs were smart and knew what they were capable of creating. While reading the novel I asked myself “what did Henry Wu lack when building the dinosaur’s DNA?” and to me, the knowledge he lacked was he didn’t make pure dinos. He created a hybrid dino Indominus rex by combining the wrong DNA. He combined the DNA of T-rex with other species like a frogs DNA. So they accidentally created a giant raptor. If I were the scientist’s bosses I would make sure that they understood genetics so something like this would never happen.

The Potential Dangers of Technology also plays a role as a theme in the book. Hammond wants Jurassic Park to be able to operate with the least number of staff because he wants to increase efficiency and save money, Therefore, he has the park designed to be operated almost entirely by a huge computer system that automates virtually all of the park’s systems and functions. The computer system always has a problem and has bugs. Since they saw a hurricane coming on the radar shouldn’t there have been a harden shelter for a hunting team in case the dinos were to escape? One of the primary questions Crichton shows in Jurassic Park is what would happen if all of these computers and systems randomly stopped working. Though Hammond’s computer system is designed to work through any disaster that could happen in his park. The dangers of technology show when the power goes out.

In conclusion, I personally think that the themes in Jurassic Park were clearly shown. Once they begin this control on the dinosaurs and use technology to do so, it can lead to huge consequences. Followed by other themes like man vs. nature, science, and technology. Without science, there would be no nature. During the book, Michael Crichton shows that nature can beat a man and that technology will fail and cause a huge problem. It almost makes me think that Michael Crichton was trying to hint that technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives and without it life would be a huge disaster.

Work cited

  1. Crichton, Michael. 1991. Jurassic Park. New York: Ballantine Books.