Dawn by Octavia Butler goes into the realm of the destruction of earth as we know it. After human’s destroy must of their world and species, Oankali rescue them and keep them to study and preserve for a “trade” for each of them. Lilith is picked as a leader who will lead the humans back to earth after they use them for reproduction as she is told. She lives among them, specifically with Nikanj, an ooloi who she helps through metamorphosis.
As she begins understanding more of their culture, she starts appreciating and accepting many changes. She easily accepts that ooloi should be called “it” and found “pleasure in the knowledge” and when she meets Paul Titus, she gets upset that he can’t grasp the understanding of a third gender (Butler 47). She realized that sex didn’t determine personality with the oankali just as it doesn’t with humans. She also didn’t understand why it took her so long to accept their looks and realized “different is threatening to most species,” which defines the basis of discriminations within humans (Butler 186).
After she begins to awaken all the humans to take to earth, she starts realizing the flaws within humans. She realized that she appreciated that the ooloi would give her “a moment to think” and realized humans usually didn’t give people a chance (Butler 97). She also appreciated that the ooloi never lied and realized that’s why humans can’t trust each other and always shift blame to answer their questions. Lastly, she was fond of Nikanj because it “never tried to make her change her behavior” (Butler 242).
In the end, Butler questions society as we know it and the flaws we carry. She also allows you to open your mind and become accepting of an alien race although they manipulate, withhold information, and seduce a different species. This novel was interesting, especially the ooloi’s role in sex but did drag and left many questions.