"Bloodchild" and Other Stories Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What is the relationship between humans and the home species on the Tilc planet in the story “Bloodchild”?

    Humans have inhabited the planet Tilc in search for another home planet. It is mentioned that at first, the relationship with the home species was filled with bloody confrontations and many killings, until both species agreed to live harmoniously. Humans are necessary to the Tilc species as host bodies for their young, and in return they get to live protected in a caged community called Preserve. The human and Tilc relationship as seen in the example of Gan and T’Gatoi is a complicated one, filled with both respect and care as well as fear: Gan is afraid of the consequences of hosting T’Gatoi’s young while T’Gatoi is afraid of the gun Gan insists on keeping in his home.

  2. 2

    What is the meaning of communication in the story “Speech Sounds”?

    The author in her afterword tell the inspiration behind the story, which is her anger towards humanity unable to communicate with each other without fists and violence. The story takes this idea on a literal scale and humans are unable to communicate with each other verbally, only with body language. This inability to communicate leads to a broken society filled with fear, jealousy and death. The story’s hero Obsidian, despite his good intentions is helpless against the violence that comes from the inability to communicate. The ending, with the two children and Rye speaking to each other shows that communication is the only hope for humanity to function properly.

  3. 3

    How does “The Book of Martha” portray the notion of consequence?

    “The Book of Martha” is a story where a human is put into a position of God to make whatever decision she wants to improve humanity. Initially a simple decision, Martha begins to realize that every choice she makes has good and bad consequences. There is no perfect choice, and the only good decision is the one where the good outweighs the unavoidable bad.

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