Study Guide

John Hammond in Jurassic Park

By Michael Crichton

John Hammond

Hammond may mean well—sort of—but he's pretty much your basic evil billionaire when you get right down to it. He has loads of money and wants loads more. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that, in and of itself (you decide), but Hammond has chosen to clone dinosaurs and build an amusement park for the "rich" kids of the world, without any thought of the possible consequences.

Worse, perhaps, Hammond's cut corners, and he refuses to see the inherent dangers of his beloved Jurassic Park. "You didn't want to put money into a storm barrier to protect the pier. So we don't have a good harbor," Hammond's chief engineer, Arnold, reminds him (3.26.62). Hammond's response? He gives "a dismissive wave" (3.26.63).

What does he say when they discover the raptors and other dinosaurs are breeding? "Well, it's not that bad." Not that bad, Hammond? Raptors loose in the park is not that bad? Your grandkids are outside in the park, like right now. It's hard to make Hammond see reason.

Hammond is pretty much the symbol of the unholy alliance between science and money in Jurassic Park. In the end, Hammond doesn't really care about science itself, or about making the world better, or even about providing entertainment; he just wants to rake in the dough. Crichton thinks that scientists are, unfortunately, like that a little too often, interested in fame and fortune rather than in anything nobler.

When it all falls apart, does Hammond blame himself or reconsider the wisdom of his enterprise? Nope. Not at all. He figures he just didn't have the right talent in place. "Hammond shook his head. He would do better next time" (7.54.24). He will find people suited to the task—people who have vision, his vision.

Actually, that'll be pretty hard to do, since, you know, he slowly gets eaten by a swarm of little dinosaurs at the end of the novel.

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