Defining Property Within Fledgling

One of the questions Locke discusses in Second Treatise of Government is “how any one should ever come to have a property in any thing,” which brought my attention to Butler’s notions of property within Fledgling. The relationships with Shori, and her symbionts definitely play in the conversation of property. Butler creates an interesting juxtaposition of consent and property when Shori bites her symbionts. One could argue that Shori’s symbionts did not consent to her bite, and are forced to become property because the symbionts have an attachment to Shori. In this context, a one-way relationship is shown. However, as Shori’s father Iosif explains to Wright, the relationship between Shori and him is a “mutualistic symbiosis” (Butler, 63). Furthermore, Iosif goes on to state that Wright knows he’s “joined with her” (Butler, 63). Butler’s diction here can certaintly convolute the status of the relationship even though Shori is technically using Wright as resource for her own benefit. Moreover, the manner that Shori uses Wright’s blood could be defined as; Locke would say “to make use of it (Wright) to the best advantage of life, and convenience.”

As previously stated, the constant usage of Wright’s blood and his attraction to Shori can be interpreted, as that Wright is fully Shori’s property as a one-way benefit. However, some critics might claim that it is a mutual relationship because Wright gains a longer life, and higher immune system from this exchange. This allows justification of Wright as a resource for Shori. Nonetheless, in chapter eight Iosif, while talking to Shori about her symbionts, uses words and phrases such as, “your people, let them, Bully them, control them out of fear or malice or just for own convenience” (Butler, 73). Although Iosif is telling Shori to not treat her people in this matter, the phrases and the words Iosif uses are possessive, which creates the argument that symbiosis in this context does not exist, and even Iosif discussing with Shori about how to treat her people in a certain matter can be interpreted as “means to appropriate them some way or other, before they can be of any use, or at all beneficial to any particular man” (Locke, Sec. 26). One could also twist the relationship of Wright as having ownership of Shori as well. The reason Shori is alive is because of Wright’s blood, since he aided Shori when she was injured. Shori’s appearance as a child, and Wright as the adult could make the relationship seem like a parental one. Although she has a higher mindset than a little girl she still has some tendencies of a child.

To further elaborate in chapter twenty-four, Shori discuses how Wright makes her feel when she states, “ It mattered more than I would have thought possible that he was alive, that he loved me and wanted somehow to comfort me. I knew if I let him, he would take me home and put me to bed and stay with me until I feel asleep” (Butler, 255). Shori’s diction here could be construed as a girl wanting to feel protected by her guardian. Additionally, in the context of guardianship, Shori legally because of her appearance could be viewed as property under Wright’s parental guidance. Butler here again confuses the reader on who has the right of property over whom, and whether mutual consent in the case of Shori and Wright’s relationship is legitimate.

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