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Literature & Language
Book Review
English (U.S.)
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Blood Child: About Humans Referred To As Terrans (Book Review Sample)


Critical lenses
The general direction of writing a sense of reading is gender does not discriminate


Bloodchild is a fiction story written by Octavia Butler and is about humans referred to as Terrans, who have gone to live in the alien planet to escape the disasters existing in their native earth. In their foreign land, they meet a new insect species called Tlics, who is physically and politically strong, but with one major problem; they cannot bear their own offspring (Butler 2). When the Terrans visit this new planet, the natives, Tlics, see this as an opportunity for survival and decide to use the new creatures to host their eggs. In exchange for this service, Terrans get both home and food in the form of eggs filled with fluids that help humans have longer and healthier lives. The natives use a narcotic to seduce humans and establish familial bonds with their host, which creates a strange love-hate type of relationship that is the center of conflict (Butler 6).
In this story, Lien, the mother of a young man Gan has agreed to sacrifice his son in exchange for children-bearing right. She has decided to offer her son who is to host the eggs of TGatoi, her childhood friend and a female who cannot bear young ones just like any female in the society of Tlics. At first, Gan agrees to host the TGatoi's eggs because he wants to save his family from the Tlics menace. However, he accidentally witnesses the hatching of the egg from one of the men, Loma, and discovering how the process is highly stressing, he becomes more worried because he knows he will experience the same pain (Butler 6). Nonetheless, he has no choice since he wants to save his family and he eventually agrees to be impregnated by TGatoi. This kind of impregnation is almost similar to what happens in human sexuality, but with a reversal of the man and woman roles.
Octavia, Butler’s short story, “bloodchild” applies science fiction to make general conceptions unfamiliar and to forefront the gender role issues (Salinas). The author's science fiction form utilizes a disorienting plot, setting, and characters to remove the presumptions of the reader about the central themes of the story. The narrative foregrounds particular issues the author wishes to stress in the consciousness of the reader. Therefore, the themes no longer compete with any preconceived ideas about the society. It is worth to note that the reader may have preconceptions about the gender roles in the society regarding the birth of the children (Waltonen). On the contrary, in this science fiction, when a parasite lays eggs in humans without their consent, it evokes a different response. The Tlics use humans as the slaves on an alien planet with the aim of hosting their eggs and delivering their babies. Most of the readers will be surprised with this practice, and some will think it is a form of injustice perpetrated against humans, particularly men. Such scenario does not differ from the traditional sex roles in gestation and childbirth among humans (Waltonen).
The Tlics are intelligent and have both strong physical and political power, but cannot give rise to the new offspring. To ensure the survival of the species, they capitalize on the presence of exotic creatures in their land. It is ironic to think that Tlics are doing injustice to men because in real life situation the same case applies to women. Men are more physically and politically stronger than women, yet they expect women to bear them children. If the reader can make a logical connection of the allegory present in this narrative to human gestation, childbirth and gender roles, then the author has achieved the purpose of creating the new perception of the familiar theme. Just like the development of eggs in

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