Presentation on theme: "By Octavia Butler. 1947-2006 Only Sci-Fi writer ever to receive prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Genius Grant “Bloodchild” published."— Presentation transcript:
By Octavia Butler
1947-2006 Only Sci-Fi writer ever to receive prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Genius Grant “Bloodchild” published in Isaac Asimiov’s Science Fiction Magazine, 1984 Interested in race and gender relations, and as a character says in one of her novels “strange relationships” The first African-American female science-fcition writer to gain critical acclaim
1. The story begins with the family and T’Gatoi eating eggs that produce drug-like effects (relaxation, pleasure, but also “prolonged life and […]vigor”) but Gan’s mom doesn’t want to eat one (pg. 1035-6). Why not? 2. Gan says he knows his mother is lying when she tells Gan to be respectful and obedient to T’Gatoi and when she says it’s an honor to have T’Gatoi in their house (p. 1036). Since she is friends with T’Gatoi, why is the mother lying? 3. T’Gatoi and his family live in the Preserve. In our world how do Preserves function? 4. What is T’Gatoi’s role in Tlic-Terran relations? How would Terrans be viewed if not for her and her political faction? What is the Tlic-Terran relationship like? 5. At one point Gan’s mom tell Gan to “take car of her,” meaning T’Gatoi (pg. 1036). Since T’Gatoi has more power than any Terran, what does the mother mean by this?
6. Gan says at one point he had always liked to lie against T’Gatoi but no one else in the family did because it “made them feel caged” (pg. 1037). Why do they feel that way and why doesn’t Gan? 7. Describe the Tlic birthing process (pg. 1041). What are your impressions of it? How is it similar to and different from the human birthing process? 8. How does Gan feel toward T’Gatoi? Do his feelings change at all through the story? Does he love her? 9. How does T’Gatoi feel toward Gan? Gan’s mother? 10. How are the Tlic-Terran dynamics like and unlike women-men dynamics? 11. Many critics (though the author resists this interpretation) have examined the story as a master- slave narrative with parallels to the U.S. mater-slave relationship in our history. Do you see this in it?
1. Who has the power in the story and is it static or dynamic? 2. Why does the story focus on birth? What values and associations does our culture place on birthing? Does this story reinforce, interrogate, or deviate from those values and assumptions? 3. How does one’s control of one’s own reproductivity allow for empowerment or subjectivity? Is reproduction a violent process? 4. How is the pairing of T'Gatoi and Gan similar to and different from male and female pairing in American culture? 5. What is the conflict Gan experiences and why is he conflicted? What would you do in Gan's shoes?
NPR Conference on Racism and Butler Essay http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/racism/0 10830.octaviabutler.html http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/racism/0 10830.octaviabutler.html Video: Octavia Butler, Women Writing Sci-Fi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW9hVkrO9O U&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW9hVkrO9O U&feature=related