OMG, DAWN!

Oh, Dawn! This is by far my favorite book of the semester; the best was truly saved for last. I’m usually not interested in science fiction because I have a hard time thinking outside of reality and factually, but there was something about the authenticity and relatability of Octavia Butler’s concept of human race through the fiction that captivated me. I feel as if this novel was so thoughtfully structured especially with the four sections of womb, family, nursery, and the training floor. Any form of development, in my opinion, can be broken up this way. Lilith, just YES! Lilith to me acted as the “token minority” in an area that lacks diversity that was there to alter the outlook of the community. The fact that Butler destroyed the Earth in this novel that had a black woman come to fix it deserves some applause especially for its time period. The opposition throughout the work being humans versus an extraterrestrial race highlighted that key flaws of Americans as people, particularly because with my level of knowledge I can only speak of the United States. I find it interesting that Lilith’s first test was to accept exterior differences. That can be compared to the barriers of people of color have for appearances and features that are not the societal norms, such as textured hair and darker skin. This is what leads me to think this entire novel is about race and ethnic differences. It shows how implicit bias towards differences is transferred over to people that are generally oppressed in the United States. The work also makes the argument that the human race is flawed and automatically hierarchical because of the willingness to achieve power. Humans were so uncomfortable with differing opinions, appearances, cultures, and customs throughout the novel. They went to the extent of attempting to destroy the differences. It seemed a lot like the push and focus of social norms in the United States. The way in which the Oankali entity would not let the humans mate alone can be compared to if people of color forced white people to interbreed or end their existence as a tactic to end racism, particularly. They challenged the humans and even tested them physically to see if they would displace resistance. It sort of showed the level of rebellion within humans. Humans literally had to earth destroyed and still were selfish. Can we just address that? This novel is like if World War III were to occur over cultural differences and the human race had to be better understanding and willing to interact with various types of people to gain normality. I also found that the Oankali entity’s use of “quid pro quid” methods for repayment for helping the humans very intriguing. It’s pretty ironic being that most human activities since the beginning of time have been on those bases. Overall, this novel was very thought-provoking for me. It opened my eyes to the slow progression of “wokeness” in the United States. Bulter wrote this novel in the 1980s and almost every aspect of humankind can be applied to a current event in the United States. I plan to finish this series because it was so great. While researching the background of Butler and her influence to write the work, I read that Dawn is getting a television show! I hope it’s true because that would be so incredible!

 

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