All posts by Audrey Buechel

Anatomy in Xenogenesis and Parable of the Sower

During our class discussion on Friday, the benefits and drawbacks to Lauren’s hyper-empathy syndrome were brought into consideration, along with the fact that it is the world she operates within that consequently constructs her as ‘disabled’– as a result of an individual facet of her being that is both integral to who she is and just one of many things that makes her who she is. This ableist viewpoint contributes to the ‘other-ing’ we discussed, that often occurs when we deny a being the ability to be read as “human” as well as “healthy”, quickly moving us into a discussion centered on our society’s perspective towards visual impairment– specifically in regards to those that need glasses in order to see. Continue reading Anatomy in Xenogenesis and Parable of the Sower

Humanity’s “Salvation”: What is the Price?

I too, like John, felt the human resisters to be dispiritingly disappointing, which has consequently been something that has thus far been one of the most difficult feelings for me to acknowledge while reading this series–mainly that of the pessimistic view Butler takes in regards to humanity. No one will argue that we as both an intelligent and hierarchical species are incapable of someday committing “humanicide” against our earth and ourselves and coming to terms with that realization the other day really struck me. This is a plausible, very likely predicament we may as a species someday find ourselves in, so how can one not agree that the humans need help? And, who better than the Oankali to salvage the fragments of what is left of humanity and the earth when they can save what we can’t and instead appear, as a species, to be intent on destroying? For me it is essentially impossible to disagree with the Oankali here, in that the human species really did and does need help if they are going to survive after this head-on collision of two world powers and the nuclear war that followed nearly destroying them– however, I am unsure as to how I feel about the price that this ultimately costs humanity in the end. Continue reading Humanity’s “Salvation”: What is the Price?

Lilith: “Of the Night”

As I was reading Dawn, I could not help but notice the potential significance (if, that is, there is any) of the main character’s name: Lilith. There are many myths concerning her throughout cultures and religions but as someone who has studied particular parts of the Bible, my first thought was the Lilith that is briefly mentioned within the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. When looking up the precise meaning of her name on Google, I came to find that Lilith is derived from lilitu, meaning “of the night”, which is ironic considering that the title of this first book in this series is Dawn.  Continue reading Lilith: “Of the Night”

Bloodchild: A Love Story

In response to Clarissa’s post that contests the viability of the slavery reading and interpretation of Bloodchild as well as T’Gatoi’s character, whom she describes as “an awful creature with no morals who is ugly on the outside and the inside,” I both agree and disagree. While I agree that the initial character description of T’Gatoi may be at first a tad bit revolting, I disagree with the argument that she should be seen as as an awful creature without morality who instead merely exudes both an internal and external ugliness. I think that in painting T’Gatoi in such a light, it deprives her of her multi-dimensional complexity as a character, instead rendering her a one-dimensional-type-being, which I do not believe was Butler’s illustrative intent.

Continue reading Bloodchild: A Love Story

The Human/Animal Boundary in the Patternist Series

Danielle’s post “Uncontrolled Contagion” really resonated with me when she stated, in the last paragraph, that the domination of the “lesser” peoples, mainly that of the mutes and the Clayarks, in the Patternist series should serve as a warning sign to the reader of what such intolerances between cultures might entail: which, in her words was doomed to result in “rip[ping] society and eventually the world apart.” This enabled me to think about the binary structures that we as human beings create in order to define ourselves as a species by means of juxtaposition. It is no secret that we, as people, fear what is different—we see or we read about something that is socially, culturally, and/or biologically foreign to our own way of life and ways of being, and, suddenly, as a culture, we conclude that this society, alien to our own, is in some way as threatening as it is antagonistic; as dangerously hostile as it is distinct. In short: we fear what we do not know. Therefore, what better way to greater solidify our own identity as a species, than to define what is not objectively “us” as “Other” and thereby, “inferior”?

Continue reading The Human/Animal Boundary in the Patternist Series

Locke: The Founder of Bourgeois Capitalism?

As much as I had originally found the reading of John Locke to be repetitive and tedious—just the excerpt portions alone—our recent discussion in class today on the “industrious and rational” in juxtaposition to the “covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious” brought to life the relevance of certain topics that Locke dances around throughout his Treatise. While Locke’s argument may claim that it is the industrious and rational who are “fit” to take the land and use it up for all of its potential resources available and supplied both to and for mankind, I disagree that those whom he refers to as “quarrelsome and contentious” the land as valuable to them and that it should consequently be taken from them as a result. The American Indians, for example, were people that greatly revered and took care of their land. Instead of depleting their resources, they cherished and nurtured all of the living things in their environment, giving way to much abundance in both their crop yield and the preservation of nature as it should be, (at least in my opinion).

Locke however, seems to think that they are instead doing the complete opposite of this. Continue reading Locke: The Founder of Bourgeois Capitalism?

Fledgling: Choice and Free Will

At the start of the novel we are introduced to Shori, who is suffering from violently induced amnesia, which then results in the complete memory loss of the past fifty-three years of her life– more specifically, she has no cultural memory. As a result, the violence that has been done to Shori in this novel are two-fold; on the one hand she has been violated physically by the brain injuries and burns her body sustains and later “heals” from, but she has also had both her culture and her identity violently taken from her as well—not even leaving her in the position to be able to properly grieve the family she has lost because, try as she might, she does not and cannot remember them. Like the cave she has awakened into, there is this big, empty, confusing void of a space where she is not only literally alone, but alone as an experimental hybrid of her kind—the only one of her kind.

Continue reading Fledgling: Choice and Free Will