Today’s class and group discussions brought up many points that are both agreeable and disagreeable in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”. We discussed what Butler wanted “Bloodchild” to represent and what she didn’t want the story to represent. While we were in our groups we discussed both of these aspects and what we personally felt “Bloodchild” represented.
My first time through reading “Bloodchild” I didn’t see the slavery aspect at all. The idea of slavery never crossed my mind. When I read the Afterword and saw “that some people have seen “Bloodchild” as a story of slavery” amazed me (“Bloodchild” 30). I still had a hard time seeing this idea come across within this work. I thought to myself how could one argue this? I don’t see it! Well…today in our group discussion Andre discussed how he personally had seen it to be a possible slave story. Andre brought out parts of the text that would support the idea of it being a story of slavery. One particular passage(s) he pointed out was when T’Gatoi’s body was referred to as a cage. Seeing this point of view through someone else’s opinion opened my eyes and realize the possibility that it could be a story about slavery.
Depending if one reads this story as a slave story or not a slave story could effect ones emotional response to the story. My first time reading it through (not as a slavery story) I sort of chuckled. I found myself thinking it was almost like a “cheesy horror” movie that was poorly made. I think my emotions felt like this for the simple fact that the story wasn’t long enough to unpack even more details. But when Andre brought up the valid points about the story possibly being a story of slavery I reread it. When I read it the second time (as a story of slavery) I developed a whole different set of emotions. When I read the story like this I felt more emotionally attached to T’Gatoi’s victims. I find T’Gatoi as an awful creature with no morals who is ugly on the outside and the inside. Where as before I only looked at T’Gatoi as ugly on the outside. After reading the story from both points of view I now can see how one would easily argue that this is a slavery story, but I think it is only obvious if it is brought to ones attention (Thanks Andre).
Also… here is an interesting article I found by Kristen Lillvis from Marshall University.