As I was reading Theri Pickens article “You’re Supposed to Be a Tall, Handsome, Fully Grown White Man” for my annotated bibliography, I found myself stopping a lot to “scratch my head” at what she was saying. As I was reading her article I found myself rethinking some of my opinions about Fledgling, but at the same time I felt the need to defend the way Butler developed her novel.
One example in this article that had me thinking was Pickens ability to call Shori a protagonist (Pickens 34). Yes I would agree that Shori is probably more of a protagonist then most characters BUT I am not sure how one can call her a protagonist when she is constantly manipulating her symbionts. Shori knows she is stronger then most of her symbionts, where she feels like she can control them. Because of Shori’s ability to control them so easily makes it hard for me to believe that she is the protagonist. I feel as if she is taking advantage of a weaker power which is something a protagonist shouldn’t be doing. The idea of this power struggle within Butler’s work relates back to my previous post, referring to the two videos we watched in class and “Mind of My Mind”.
The point in Pickens article where she was talking about Wright wanting to hide his relationship with Shori was the real “thinker” for me. Pickens’ feels that the relationship is hidden because of the idea that interracial relationships where not acceptable during this time (Pickens 43). This very well may have been Butler’s intention, but at the same time I don’t know how Pickens didn’t argue or bring up the fact Shori’s and Wright’s age (based on physical appearance) is so different. Throughout her entire article she never mentioned this idea as being wrong. Which when I read Fledgling I got more of the feeling that Butler was more focused on age between Shori and Wright and not race.
Like I previously stated Pickens has created some wonderful arguments within her article that made me rethink some of my opinions on Fledgling but I feel like I was “scratching my head” with some of these arguments, not agreeing with her.
Below you will find the link to Pickens article, which Beth has already provided for us: