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Would it be easier to know that red worms were growing in her flesh instead of mine?
Set on an alien planet where humans are used as breeding vessels for the home species, “Bloodchild” is a story that on a deeper lever explores the themes of coming of age and taking responsibility in one’s own hands. Gan is a human male chose to bear the eggs of the female host T’Gatoi. Prior to his impregnation he witnesses the ugly truth of extraction of eggs from another man, and this makes him waver. T’Gatoi suggests to him to have his sister take his place, but Gan refuse, choosing to take responsibility instead of living with the knowledge that his sister has to bear his burden.
That would be like killing part of yourself-even though it wasn’t a part you intended to use. Killing part of yourself when so much of you was already dead.
The second story in the collection explores a futuristic world where cures for cancers and other various diseases have been found, but the consequence of those cures is a disease that damages people’s cognitive abilities and drives them to self-mutilation and suicide. The main character comes from a family where both her parents died from that disease, and it is only a matter of time until it catches her as well. She gets into a relationship with a guy who has a similar background, and they contemplate their life together, their impending fate and sterilization. Lynn refuses the idea of sterilization, because she feels it wrong to even have that part of herself killed off, despite her intention of never having children. She doesn’t like the idea of not having a choice.
They knew what they were doing to me, and yet it never occurred to them not to do it.
“Amnesty” is a dystopic story set in a world invaded by an alien species known as “Communities” who have no intention of leaving Earth, but instead settle and become a part of the society. They aren’t set on intentionally hurting humanity, instead having a more indifferent approach. Noah is the main character who was one of the first people who got experimented on by the Communities. When she was released by them, she was captured by the government people who tortured her more than what she endured by the Communities. The pain from the Communities came from lack of knowledge about humanity, while her human captors intentionally humiliated and hurt her.
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"Bloodchild" and Other Stories essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of "Bloodchild" and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler.