Study Guide

Jurassic Park Greed

By Michael Crichton


In practice, it involved industrial espionage, much of it directed toward the InGen corporation. (2.12.7)

Even if Hammond succeeded in keeping his technology under control, other organizations would not be so careful. Biosyn (get it?) is even less scrupulous than InGen. Hammond's greed prevents him from seeing the full consequences of the technology he's helping to advance.

"Of course, if we could obtain examples of their dinosaurs, we could reverse engineer them and make our own, with enough modifications in the DNA to evade their patents." (2.12.38)

Greedy people cut corners to get what they want. Biosyn, InGen's main competitor, may be willing to steal its way to profits, but Hammond is equally willing to do what it takes to get what he wants. He's just as villainous.

"Oh balls," Hammond said. "Whose side are you on anyway?" (3.24.20)

Arnold tells Hammond that the park is inherently hazardous because of control issues with the animals, even though he's still a believer in the project. Characteristically, Hammond dismisses even this friendly criticism.

Gennaro thought: we are going to make a fortune on this place. A fortune.

He hoped to God the island was safe. (2.16.5-6)

Greed motivates Gennaro, just as it motivates Hammond, but Gennaro may have stronger impulses working on his conscience. Once he realizes that the park is inherently dangerous—and he learns this early on—he doesn't hesitate to oppose Hammond. For one thing, the park is a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

"But you didn't want to put money into a storm barrier to protect the pier." (3.26.62)

Hammond is not always prudent in his spending habits. He'll spare no expense to make dinosaurs, but the safety of the delivery boats is not one of his priorities.

"And, you remember our original intent was to use the emerging technology of genetic engineering to make money. A lot of money." (4.33.20)

Hammond is open about what motivates him, first and foremost. He does want kids to be able to experience the wonder of seeing dinosaurs, but he wants their money even more.

"From a business standpoint, that makes helping mankind a very risky business. Personally, I would never help mankind." (4.33.23)

Hammond is no philanthropist. He's an opportunist who believes he has no responsibility to promote the common good. Would it be better if he were building Jurassic Park for philanthropic or educational reasons? Could that even have happened?

"This is my island. I own it. And nothing is going to stop me from opening Jurassic Park to all the children of the world." He chuckled. "Or, at least, to the rich ones." (4.33.57)

Hammond's greed causes him to mistake his ownership of the island on paper with the control he has over the park. The dinosaurs don't give a chipped tooth for his claim of ownership.

"It's your park, Mr. Hammond. You didn't want anybody to be able to injure your precious dinosaurs. Well, now you've got a rex in with the sauropods, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it." (4.41.95)

The dinosaurs are precious to Hammond, but not because he's attached to them as a person might be to a pet or favorite animal at the zoo. Hammond values the dinosaurs because they're a financial investment. The loss of an animal is the loss of a lot of money.

"Wu says fifteen embryos. Know what that's worth? … Somewhere between two and ten million." (5.44.26-28)

Greed leads to Nedry's undoing, as it leads to Hammond's. Both men thought they had sufficient control over their situations, and in their blind greed, neither one of them stopped to consider everything that could go wrong.

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