Analysis Of Octavia E. Butler 's ' The ' Butler '

868 WordsSep 11, 20154 Pages
What does it mean to be human? Is it having emotions? A beating heart? Instincts that you cannot evade? Dawn by Octavia E. Butler is a science fiction novel that addresses the question of what it means to be human and how humans react in catastrophic situations. The human race has destroyed itself through war, and an extraterrestrial species have stepped in to help keep a handful of humans alive and restore the Earth back to it’s living state. Once humans are sufficiently prepared for the newly modified Earth, they would be sent “home” to reinstate the human population, but at what cost? Humans are born with the natural instinct to fight for survival and to not give up, but the instinct becomes obscured when they are forced to live an unnatural life amongst aliens, instead of having a “dignified” death with the rest of the human race. The interference that the Oankali, the alien race, commits against the humans can be juxtaposed with the invasion of Siberia by the Russian Empire in the 17th century. This is because the humans would have not been able to survive without the Oankali, while the Siberians wouldn’t have been affected without the invasion of the Russian Empire. Though the human race would not have survived without the Oankali’s assistance, they would not have been subjected to a life sentence of no longer being authentically human. Lilith, the main protagonist in the novel, is Awoken by the Oankali after being asleep for over 250 years and is told that she will

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