The, Dawn, And The Word For World

1963 Words Dec 12th, 2016 8 Pages
Throughout the semester, many of the works that the class examined took great care to differentiate humans from aliens. Some of the aliens were visibly different like the Prawns in District 9, while other aliens were physically similar, but had dangerous motives like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However, somewhere along the line the distinction began to grow murky and the humans began to appear as the monstrous ones instead of the aliens. Works like Avatar, Dawn, and The Word for World is Forest depict humanity as inherently flawed, selfish, and territorial, a vastly different image from earlier works like King Kong and Dracula where their actions were portrayed as necessary. Using Lilith, Dawn by Octavia Butler takes a stance against anthropocentrism by challenging the idea that humans are superior. In the beginning of the novel when Lilith is in isolation she displays typical human behavior, fearfully making demands and refusing to cooperate. She feels as if “she has to risk bargaining” and try to gain something from the Oankali (Butler 6). While this probably would have worked from an anthropocentric point of view, assuming that her captors were also human, this did not work with the Oankali because they do not respond to temper tantrums or bargaining, only cooperation. However, the alienation brought forth an opportunity for Lilith to open her mind because sometimes when the opinions of others constantly surround an individual they do not attempt…
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