Striking Features of the Story
Blood child is a science fiction novelette by Octavia E. Butler. The piece is quite striking because of the enormous emotional impact it has on the readers. Anyone reading the book is just blown away by Butler’s ability to blend excellent characterization and complex ideas. For example, the piece’s main protagonist, Gan, encounters many fascinating and maybe disturbing experiences such as the rite of passage in an alien planet where men’s bodies were used to incubate the eggs of the aliens.
Another striking feature is how incredibly written the piece is. The flow of Butler’s ideas of brilliance and terror are really captivating. The piece consist of very heavy and incredibly difficult ideas such as the strange pregnancies or surrogate fathers but even so, Butler is able to effectively portray an exploitative relationship between the Terran and the alien Tlic without contradiction and overriding of ideas.
How the Story Might Be Seen As a Social Critique or Commentary
The story analyses the social norms, values and practices of the contemporary world in a fiction manner. The story shows how gender roles have been reversed in the alien planet. Unlike usual women pregnancy, the story talks about a 'pregnant man' which most of the readers find this repulsive. Secondly, in the afterword of the story, Butler outlines that the story is not about slavery but that of power dynamics that occur in a society.
The story also shows struggle of power of two species. However, they find their attempts to become independent futile since they both require the symbiotic relationship to survive. This is a social critique that outlines that interdependence is inevitable in any given society. Butler also delineates about social responsibility. To survive in the alien society, both the Terran and the Tlic had to conduct their social activities in a certain way to protect their families and generation.
Concepts/ideas from Lectures on Science Fiction
The main concept learned is the importance of science fiction in projecting and dramatizing how changing people of the present world into past, future or maybe distant places. Science Fiction helps bring change in contemporary society through enlightenment and pushing for social constructs.
Imagination play helps alter the moral codes and attitudes of a society. It educates people about ethics, social responsibility and identity. Any student or literature professional should be able to use social science fiction to educate and amend the society given the captivation and emotional attachment it brings to readers/viewers.
Science fiction is able to test outcomes of change in the society. It is a conceptual model that is able to test how adjustments in the society can affect it. The ideas in social science fiction are hypotheses that are tested by assessing and evaluating the reactions and reviews of the people who study these literatures. In summary, it can be termed as the literature of change.
Outside source from ULV Library Database
Science Fiction by Mark Bould is a book that contains in-depth analysis on this topic. The book discusses transformation in this genre from 1895 to the present day. The book is also important for this genre because it discusses the current social concerns which are mainly addressed by the argument above. It analyses how this genre is used to represent gender, imperialism, sexuality and colonialism. It also postulates the relationships between spectacle, imagination play and the self-reflexivity of a society.
Bould, M. (2012). Science fiction. London: Routledge
Butler, O. (2014). Bloodchild. NewYork: Headline.