Dawn

I did not know what to expect when reading Dawn because I do not normally read this genre, but I ended up enjoying it!  I think it was interesting how gender and racial issues were tied into the storyline of Lilith and the Oankali.  In the beginning, Lilith struggled with accepting Jdahya and asks herself why she can’t just accept him.  She also struggles with xenophobia and the fear she feels towards the Oankali.  She is very confused throughout much of the book, as anyone in this unfamiliar situation would be.  Lilith was used to being at the top of the food chain on Earth but now has to deal with the fact that she no longer is.  Butler writes that, in reference to the Oankali, “are not hierarchical, you see. We never were. But we are powerfully acquisitive. We acquire new life—seek it, investigate it, manipulate it, sort it, use it. We carry the drive to do this in a minuscule cell within a cell.”  This a different perspective than Lilith is used to because humans are very hierarchical, for example with oppressions and marginalized groups.  A species that is not hierarchical is so unusual and provides a different perspective on what society could accomplish if we were not this way.  I liked Lilith as a character for her strength, intelligence, and strong-will.  Throughout the novel she must act as the mediator between humans and the Oankali and has few choices.  However, she makes the best of her situation and the poor choices she is offered which is one of the reasons I admire her.

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