All posts by Kayla Vialva

Lilith’s Brood as a Indirect Confrontation with Society

As I read Lilith’s Brood, I couldn’t help to think of the texts confrontation with numerous stereotypes. The stereotypes range from the extensively conversed about gender to what constitutes someone as a parent in a family. I will go further in discussing the confronted stereotypes, but before then I wish to comment the stereotypes are not resolved or utopian but viewed in a different perspective than what human nature inclines us to. Continue reading Lilith’s Brood as a Indirect Confrontation with Society

Cancer cells as the future

Henrietta Lacks is especially known due to the use of her cells being the foundation for various cures. The scientists who used her cells, without her permission, is similar to the Oankali’s ooloi need to save those with incurable diseases. Nikanj notes “humans called the condition cancer. To them, it was hated disease. To the Oankali, it was a treasure. It was beauty beyond Human comprehension” (551). The ooloi, like scientists, use cancerous cells to explore genetics for trade. They feel as if the exploration is for the good of humanity. Not only does it eradicate cancer, similar to the scientists with Henrietta Lacks cells cured polio, it advances the Oankali.  Continue reading Cancer cells as the future

Suspended Animation: An Alternative to Prison

Within my reading, I could not help but think why suspended animation was a problem solver for the Oankali. Repeatedly, the Oankali reference suspended animation as a means to solve the issue of humans who have behave poorly under their jurisdiction. However, humans are put under suspended animation before they have an opportunity to behave badly. They are put in when they arrive to the ship, for over a hundred years Lilith has no clue what is going on. So is suspended animation really an alternative to prison?

Continue reading Suspended Animation: An Alternative to Prison

Social Generals


The term I’ve coined as social general is loosely defined as anyone who feels their duty in life is to better humanity by righting social injustices. Octavia Butler emphasizes her social generals within Dawn. The Oankali have developed into social general’s, in which they save humans on Earth from their “suicide.” Social generals feel extreme self-fulfillment when they help those below them. Continue reading Social Generals

The Exposition of the Feminist Issue of Property

Octavia Butler weaves feminist issues into her text. She critically analyzes the objectification of women. In the reading of Bloodchild, I was surprised to find this quote ” you’re not her. You’re just her property” (18). As appalled as I was reading the quote, I understood the theme of property as a common issue within her novels.  Fledgling and Seed to Harvest all dealt with what constitutes someone as property. Butler’s use of people as property can be perceived as slavery or the reversal objectification of women. Continue reading The Exposition of the Feminist Issue of Property

1 in 3

Recently, I found a study conducted in which  concluded “one in three men would rape if they could get away with it and so long as it wasn’t referred to as rape” (Schow).  Octavia Butler freely instills sexuality into her characters within her texts. We have seen the portrayal of her dominant characters sexuality in Fledling with Shori’s relationship with her symbionts, and in Wild Seed with Doro’s and Anyanwu’s relationship. Butler switches who the dominant sexual being in her texts, from male or female. However, there is always a use of force in the sexual relationships between two characters. Continue reading 1 in 3

Blake’s Privilege

Shama Nathan, of the Feminist Wire, recalls a time when she realized her privilege. While on vacation she encounters a young man who’s compliment “you talk like a white person” followed by “that’s why you’re smart.” Privilege surrounds every aspect of life. Nathan correlates whiteness to superiority. Octavia Butler weaves privilege in her texts, through her characters. Specifically in Clay’s Ark, Blake exhibits his privilege within the text. Blake’s status as a white doctor stresses his high-class status. Continue reading Blake’s Privilege

Gentrified within Formal Culture

In class, we discussed gentrification in the sense of Mind of My Mind. The Feminist Wire’s, Madhu Dubey explores oppression within the text in his article Octavia Butler’s Novels of Enslavement. He introduces the idea of the “binary logic of racial difference” (Dubey, 352). Within Mind of My Mind, Mary gentrifies her area to continue growing her town of latent converts. Mary represents the binary logic of racial difference because of the remnants of oppression that she serves to the community. She labels those who cannot hear her pattern as mutes, who were once the norm in society. Dubey parallels the term mutes with niggers. He is completely accurate in the correlation. The culture of Patternist’s made themselves superior to everyone else in the community. As the population increased, they pushed the “mutes” out with the justification of a need for more space. Continue reading Gentrified within Formal Culture

The Feminist Perspective of Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind

Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind examined through the lens of the feminist perspective gives an equal representation of Doro and Mary. Arguably, Doro and Mary are masters to those around them. Doro breeds only the strongest. Mary brings in latents to help them transition.

In class, we spoke of Doro’s death as a sympathetic event within the text.

Continue reading The Feminist Perspective of Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind

The Whiteness of Doro

Rajanie Kumar, a guest contributor at the Feminist Wire, describes how “whiteness” truly affects the present day black community. Whiteness is defined as a “terror in the psyches of black individuals and the black community.” Kumar’s historical example of black slaves not having the honor to look their white master in the eye resembles whiteness because of the black perception of whites as an invisible being but all knowing.

In Octavia Butlers Wild Seed, Doro encapsulates whiteness. Doro, a spirit who takes host of the body he most recently kills, is what Kumar is noting in her article, White Terror: Spirituality, Ancestral Memory and the Politics of Remembering. Doro as a spirit is similar to Kumar’s interpretation of whiteness as an invisible being, but also all knowing. Doro used his senses to find Anyanwu in Wheatley after she ran away from him for centuries (184).  Continue reading The Whiteness of Doro