"Bloodchild" and Other Stories Literary Elements

"Bloodchild" and Other Stories Literary Elements


Science Fiction, Short Stories, Essays

Setting and Context

The setting of "Bloodchild" is the planet Tlic, the period of time is unspecified.

Narrator and Point of View

The narrator of "Bloodchild" is a young man who tells the story of his pregnancy through the eyes and voice of a woman.

Tone and Mood

The tone of "Bloodchild" is threatening, but also in some ways very loving.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist of the title story is a young boy named Gan; the antagonist is the female Tlic who wants him to carry her eggs.

Major Conflict

There is conflict between Gan and T'Gatoi after Gan witnesses the life-threatening Cesarian performed on his close friend who is also a host to the Tlic eggs; Gan decides that he does not want to be T'Gatoi's host anymore, but she still wants him to be. Rather than engaging in an actual argument, she says that if he does not carry her eggs, she will chose his sister for the role of host, and in order to save her he complies.


The climax of "Bloodchild" is the cesarian surgery performed on Gan's friend Lomas, which also causes Gan to rethink his agreement to carry eggs for T'Gatoi.


Lomas' cesarian foreshadows Gan's change of heart and opinion about the honor and the safety of acting as a host for the Tlic eggs.




In the essay "Positive Obsession" alludes to the professional sports teams of Butler's youth and the way in which they positively affected her life.


The imagery in "Bloodchild" is extremely graphic and enables the reader to picture a man with eggs hatching inside him, also enabling them to identify strongly with Gan when he becomes reluctant to act as a host himself.


In "Amnesty", Noah observes that although she had spent her life afraid of the Communities, she had never suffered so much cruelty from the Communities as she did from her own government.


There is a parallel between the alcoholic protagonist of "Crossover" and the way in which Butler herself felt about her boring, dead-end jobs that pre-dated her life as a professional writer.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The Communities is used to describe each of the aliens who make up the group.


Aliens are personified in the stories Butler writes, given human, rather than alien, emotions.

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