Views of Dawn by Octavia Butler

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Racism Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: April 21, 2007
Amber Clontz
LTP 4 Dawn
Jubal Tiner
Views of Dawn
The novel Dawn, by Octavia Butler, possess many good qualities. Unlike many novels, Butler provides a clear and conceivable explanations for the biological events that take place in the story. Her main character demonstrates moral and ethical dilemmas that can relate to a person's normal life. These dilemmas can also compare to problems of slavery among African Americans in the past. Butler's African American heritage may have brought her to write such interesting literature.

The story begins with the protagonist, Lilith awakening from a type of REM sleep that has lasted for some time. She finds herself on a space ship full of aliens. She remembers that there was a nuclear war, on earth (humanicide) , and she was one of the few survivors left. The few remaining survivors were captured by the Oankali. These were aliens like species that travel throughout the universe to find other species to breed with in order to construct new genes. Lilith is ultimately brought to this new place to help humans adapt to this new "culture". However, she fears these creatures but forces herself to overcome her repulsion and to learn about the Oankalie and the plans they have for the remaining humans. The Oankali are very genetically engineered creatures that can adapt or evolve their own genes to the environment. But they have done this process to much, and now need to breed with other species the allow for new genetic processes. Therefore, Lilith faces a dilemma that manipulates her decision between accepting the medical augmentations and the sexual advances of her "new family", while trying to help other humans. In this defenseless position, she is forced to adapt to a culture not of her own, if she does not do this, she will die.

With these biological inferences, along with the mind altering dilemmas, Butler works in the idea of slavery, making the story that much more interesting. I believe this...
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