Jurassic Park: Fifth Iteration

SearchMuldoon and Gennaro, in the Jeep, search for the tyrannosaur. Arnold tells them over the radio that he has discovered on the monitors where Nedry is. Muldoon and Gennaro find the body. On the raft, Grant, Tim and Lex drift down the river and approach the dome of the large aviary. They climb out of the raft and head for the lodge, hoping that there will be a telephone there that they can use to call the control room.

AviaryArnold and Malcolm discuss why they are unable to locate Grant and the children. Malcolm thinks it is because the motion sensors cover an inadequate area. Arnold hopes they are nowhere near the aviary, since the pterodactyls are vicious birds that will attack humans. Sure enough, that is exactly what happens. Several dactyls swoop down, but Grant manages to fight them off. They get back in their raft and resume their course downriver. They are stalked by the tyrannosaur behind the trees that line the riverbank. Back at the hotel, Malcolm is still expecting disaster. He launches into a long criticism of scientists and their methods. Grant eases the raft down the jungle river. They encounter two dilophosaurs, which are poisonous animals. They try to drift past them. For a moment the raft runs aground, but then resumes its downriver drift.

TyrannosaurMuldoon and Gennaro locate the tyrannosaur. Muldoon’s aim is to tranquilize it. He shoots from fifty yards away and misses. The tyrannosaur charges, and Muldoon shoots again, but the animal keeps on coming. Muldoon and Gennaro escape in the Jeep and head back for the hotel. Grant’s raft goes over a fifty-foot waterfall, and a tyrannosaur waits for them in the surging pool below. They manage to swim ashore, although the dinosaur gets Lex’s life vest. They elude the dinosaur and find themselves in a little recess where there is a collection of machinery. Grant opens a door and goes through it. The door snaps shut behind him. He goes down a flight of stairs, finds a car and is then attacked by a baby raptor. He shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. He sees that the animal is male, and has obviously been bred in the wild. Lex and Tim are attacked by the tyrannosaur but it unaccountably lets Tim escape from its grasp.

ControlIn the control room, Arnold, Muldoon and Gennaro observe that the tyrannosaur has collapsed. It just took an hour for the tranquilizer to take effect. Arnold is again confident that the park is back to normal. But then they discover that the park is running on auxiliary power rather than main power. The auxiliary power then fails. Tim and Lex observe the stricken dinosaur. Then the waterfall stops, and they realize the power has failed. Wu realizes that when Arnold restarted the system, it started up with auxiliary power. Auxiliary power does not generate enough amperage to power the electric fences, so they have been off for five hours. This means the velociraptors have probably escaped. Muldoon heads for the maintenance shed to get the heaviest weapons he has. He finds three raptors ready to attack Arnold. Muldoon shoots one of them but the other two pursue him. In the hotel, Malcolm rants to Hammond about what is wrong with contemporary science. Wu desperately tries to get the main power on, and Muldoon takes refuge in a drainage pipe; Arnold and then Gennaro are attacked by a raptor in the maintenance shed. Arnold is killed. Muldoon and Wu agree to try to make it to the lodge. Meanwhile, Malcolm declares that it is very unlikely that any of them will get off the island alive.

AnalysisThis section is short and action-packed, but Crichton manages to pack into it no less than three long speeches by Malcolm in which he holds forth on the history of science and attacks the way it is practiced in the modern world. One cannot help but think that these are Crichton’s views that he wanted to get into the novel somewhere, and Malcolm is merely the mouthpiece for them. It seems incongruous that a dying man should discourse so eloquently on such topics. It is a reminder that the strength of the novel is not in the characterization, which is only perfunctory, but in its action and some of the ideas that underlie it.In this Iteration, Crichton has Grant set up the last piece of major action in the novel—the raptor attacks—by saying that when he is confronted by a young raptor, he has “a clear feeling of intelligence from this creature” (p. 296). The intelligence of the raptors will be a key element of the Sixth Iteration. They are able to open doors, for example. This is another example of Crichton’s imaginative skill. Fossil records of raptors indicate that they were probably no more intelligent than todays ostrich. But making them into intelligent creatures suits Crichton’s purpose. He needs a grandstand finish in which he adds a component that has not been present so far.