Once Upon A Wolvog

Stories from the front lines

The Risks of Storytelling


Throughout the whole trilogy of Maddaddam storytelling has come up in each book and it is the main way we as a reader get our information about each character. Here are a few examples of storytelling: In the first book, Oryx and Crake, we see Jimmy use storytelling with the Crakers to explain to them how the world works and in the third installment of the trilogy we pretty much see storytelling happening the whole time with Zeb explaining his life to Toby and Toby telling stories to the crakers.


Now I personally believe that there are some risks that come with Storytelling.

One risk that comes with storytelling is the fact that the storyteller can literally say whatever he wants and it’s up to the listener to decide to believe him or not. In Jimmy and toby’s situation, they could have totally told the crackers a complete lie and said that aliens arrived at earth and kidnapped most people then killed the rest with a disease.

In all honesty, I probably would have done some lying to the Crakers if I were in jimmy’s shoes in Oryx and Crake. If everyone in the world is dead and there is no one to tell you that what you are saying is wrong You better bet I am going to have a little bit of fun with that!

What about you? If you were the last person left in the world and you had a room full of 30 dumb people who believed everything that you said, would you lie to them or try and tell the truth?


3 thoughts on “The Risks of Storytelling

  1. I find this interesting, and didn’t really think of this while reading the books. In a sense Jimmy didn’t really tell the whole truth to the Crakers when discussing both Oryx and Crake, but I think that’s partially because it would be very difficult to go explain everything to them. I do find it a bit odd that he didn’t tell the Crakers what a bad person he thought Crake was, considering how highly they talk about him, I feel that that could get a bit irritating. To answer your question I’m not sure if I would straight up lie, but I think I would have extended the truth, like exaggerate the facts of the story, so I guess in a sense I think I might have, just to entertain myself. Good post!


  2. I agree with your idea that it becomes very easy for the storyteller to communicate lies. I personally believe that they hold some kind of power that can either be very useful or on the contrary be quite risky. If the people listening to the stories actually believe everything they hear, like the Crakers, then the storyteller could use this opportunity to tell them things that will improve overall behavior and perceptions, sort of like our parents telling us we had to be good otherwise Santa Claus would not bring any presents. However, the storyteller could use their stories as a means to spread their personal opinions, such as saying that a certain group of people are bad. I cannot say for sure whether I would lie through my stories or not, but I doubt that I would be able to keep the truth to myself….


  3. I personally would probably do as Jimmy did: a creative re-telling of the truth. It wouldn’t be a lie, but it also wouldn’t be a full truth either. I feel like the Crakers, similar to children, are just too innocent to lay the whole truth on; they wouldn’t understand the meaning of death or jealousy or violence. We see in the last chapter than once Blackbeard experiences this pain and violence, the way he tells sotries and the way things are explained become inherently more relatable to the MaddAddamites and to ourselves because he is no longer extremely innocent.


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