Technology and Biology are two factors that create and uncover many phenomenon’s of the world when they join forces. In the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, we see how both of these factors are interdependent when recreating life that was lost 65 million years ago. With his detailed descriptions and diction, I was able to interpret the scientific methods that the book portrays, as well as point out the differences between both the film and the novel. Also, with Crichton’s use of thriller, we are able to both understand how the impossible became possible, all while sitting at the edge of our seat.
In the novel, Michael Crichton presents us with many scientific themes. For example, no surprise dinosaurs are a major theme of this novel, already in the beginning of the book we are exposed to some kind of mysterious lizard that bit both Tina and the construction worker. Even though nobody believed Tina when she illustrated the three-toed lizard that bit her, later on a scientist by the name of Alice Levin faxed over an x-ray of the lizard to Alan Grant, a paleontologist concludes that the “lizard” is actually a Procompsognathus. Another scientific theme is the idea of the engineering of genes. For example, with the use of advanced technology in the novel, Crichton explains to us how the impossible was possible when bringing with dinosaurs back after millions of years. In the book, Dr. Wu, a scientist in Jurassic Park states that first they extract the DNA from the fossil and insert it into a gene sequencer. Then, with the use of a supercomputer called the X-MP they are able to use nucleases, or enzymes that would cut the nucleic acid at a specific part in the DNA strand. Next, the DNA fragments that were used would be cut and the supercomputer finally fills in the gaps of the missing DNA. The engineering of genes also goes hand in hand with the theme of dinosaurs because that's how they were able to have the rebirth of the Velociraptors, Tyrannosaurus rex, and the Dilophosaurus.
In the novel, Ian Malcolm a mathematician, explains the chaos theory in many different ways, from it being like air moving over a plane to a ball rolling and staying still for hours. The chaos theory is unpredictable, or in other words, small changes in anything can lead to uncertain events. For example, with weather it is uncertain because it connects with the the atmosphere and the sun, this makes weather in our ecosystem a “complicated system” and unpredictable. Malcolm uses weather to explain this theory because he states that if he was control the weather and make it a certain temperature, wind speed, and humidity, and then repeat it with almost the same data, then the second weather system would be close to the first but not the same results. He also says that the chaos theory is about everything moving because things are not stable even if they seem like they are, “in a sense everything is on edge of collapse.”
From the beginning of the book and movie you could tell that there are major differences. In the novel it starts off by the accident Tina had while alone in the beach vacation with her parents. Although, both do mention a construction worker, the man in the movie was eaten by a dinosaur and unlike the book, they never mentioned the symptoms Tina and the worker had. Another major difference is that in the novel Dennis Nedry wasn't the character who had encountered with the dilophosaurus, instead it was actually Grant and the kids (Lex and Tim Murphy) who came across the dinosaur close to the river in Jurassic World. Finally, another difference is that the number of survivors in the novel is different from the one in the film. For example, in the novel Malcolm died along with John Hammond but in the movie they survived along with Grant, the Murphy kids, Sattler, Muldoon, and Dr. Harding. Although the film and book were both thrilling, there are somethings that I would change about the movie. For example, to make it more scientific and accurate to the book, they should have added more dinosaurs and not have changed the ones they had in the book when creating the movie.
In the novel, Crichton describes to us step by step how the scientists in the laboratory were able to bring the dinosaurs back to life. In one part of the explanation the he says how they use frog DNA to complete the DNA sequence of the dinosaurs, although in reality that can't be possible. For example, the DNA sequence should be completed by another strand of dinosaur DNA not a frogs, but already that's a problem because it is hard to have the DNA of one dinosaur and having two strands is nearly impossible. Although, the novel and movie end up with dinosaurs in reality have they been able to clone dinosaurs with frog DNA, the result would be completely different. Instead of ending up with a man eating T-Rex, there would have been a mutated egg with an organism that is half frog and half dinosaur. If I were to change something to make it more realistic, like I said before I would make sure that the dinosaur DNA is completed with another dinosaur DNA instead of a frog. Also, instead of having all females, there should be males, because as Malcolm says, “life finds a way.”
All in all, I really enjoyed both the book and the movie because although they have major differences, both were thrilling and I was always curious on what was going to happen next. Also, I enjoyed reading how Crichton gave each of his characters different personalities and how each had to find a way to survive from the dinosaurs roaming the park. With his vivid descriptions of chaos and nature I was able to analyze the developments that lead of to the theme of the book. If you haven't read the book I suggest you do, who knows maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
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