Category Archives: Lilith’s Brood/Xenogenesis

Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago

Classifying the gains and losses of the alternate universe in Lilith’s Brood was more difficult than I might have assumed, even with the help of a group to bounce ideas off of. Yesterday, we spent some time talking about the plants/flowers, which induce the suspended animation our characters have become some accustomed to. We spoke about this suspended animation, and whether it was a loss or a gain, a positive or a negative, for the characters who are suspended in time. The superficial aspects are clearly positive. Waking up years later, looking completely the same. Being healthier and stronger seems like an obvious gain. Waking up loosing decades of one’s life, however, makes the suspended animation much harder to classify. I imagine that people would hold onto their years and their memories possessively, I know I would be horrified to know that a chunk of my life had been lost without my realization. I don’t think I could ever fully trust my memory or my awareness again. I would always feel slightly tampered with. I associate age with wisdom, with learning from the past. For me, the most difficult aspect to understand about suspended animation is waking up older, but certainly not wiser. The complete removal of maturity and growth is scary. In an article in The Feminist Wire, “Photography Feature: On Beauty and Age”, Sheri Wright comments on inherent beauty in photographs and art forms, it also touches on the importance of age. This reminded me of the confusing reality Lilith and other saved human’s experience when Awakening, and discovering that significant time has passed although their physical bodies do not show this. Their beauty remains the same, despite the age. In her article, Wright insists, “Age does not mean the end of beauty”. Although she surely means to comment on the beauty that can be found in aging, it is also relevant to acknowledge how confusing this beauty is when nothing changes at all, as is the reality for Lilith and other humans while in suspended animation.

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

Growing Up Alone

One encounter from Dawn that I think did not get enough attention during our discussion in class is Paul Titus’s attempted rape of Lilith. Nikanj explains that while it did not believe that Lilith would mate with Paul Titus, none of the Oankali expected him to react as he did. Nikanj goes on to claim that “he was content with his Oankali family until he met you” (97). Lilith echoed my thoughts during the scene on the following page: “in some ways you kept him fourteen for all those years.” The fact that neither Lilith as the victim nor myself as the reader seemed to really blame Paul Titus very much for this violent action forced me to stop and consider what it means to grow up, and whether one can do this without other members of one’s species. Continue reading Growing Up Alone