Jurassic Park Study Guide

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park is the story of a group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and others touring a soon-to-be-opened park where dinosaurs have been resurrected by genetic engineers. The park soon breaks down in a storm and the dinosaurs, including a pack of frighteningly intelligent raptors and a tremendous Tyrannosaurus Rex, rampage through the park. The story functions as a modern parable of the possible dangers of irresponsible scientific research, but it is more pointedly a critique of exploitative business and of the zoo industry.

  • "I believe my life has value, and I don't want to waste it thinking about clothing . I don't want to think about what I will wear in the morning. Truly, can you imagine anything more boring than fashion? Professional sports, perhaps. Grown men swatting little balls, while the rest of the world pays money to applaud. But, on the whole, I find fashion even more tedious than sports."
    • Ian Malcolm - Second Iteration "Malcolm"
  • "You know, at times like this one feels, well, perhaps extinct animals should be left extinct"
    • Ian Malcolm (p. 189)
  • "There is a problem with that island. It is an accident waiting to happen."
    • Ian Malcolm - Second Iteration "Malcolm"
  • The reason I ask," Malcolm said, "is that I'm told large predators such as lions and tigers are not born man-eaters. Isn't that true? These animals must learn somewhere along the way that human beings are easy to kill. Only afterward do they become man-killers."
    • Third Iteration "The Tour"
  • But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is.
    • Third Iteration "Breeding Sites"
  • "Broadly speaking, the ability of the park is to control the spread of life forms. Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers. Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way." Malcolm shook his head. "I don't mean to be philosophical, but there it is."
    • Ian Malcolm - Third Iteration "Stegosaur"
  • "Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet - or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves."
    • Ian Malcolm - Seventh Iteration "Destroying the World"
  • Discovery is always a rape of the natural world. Always.
    • p. 284
  • I hate being right.
    • Ian Malcolm

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