Science Fiction is a genre that can be difficult to define. Many stories may conform to the idea of ‘what if’. As a functional genre it presents the reader with alternative possibilities using current issues in society. A Cage of Butterflies by Brian Caswell is about a group of highly intelligent children known as the ‘Think Tank’, who are put into an institute (the farm), because of their physical deformities. They encounter the presence of a group of young paranormal children (the babies) with whom they can communicate with telepathically. The Think Tank strives to rescue the Babies and encounter many hidden secrets within the farm and the evil plans of Larsen (head scientist) for fame and fortune. Caswell explores the ides of human exploitation, the advancement of science, and the over powering need for fame and glory in modern society. The author positions the reader to question the values of humanity, the issues surrounding scientific advancement and the consequences – the idea of what we may become.
Human exploitation has been a prominent issue in society for many years. The subject of Human exploitation has forced humanity to become less aware of what actions one is willing to take in order to benefit man kind, even if it means to abuse particular people. “Well the first thing we do is make sure Larsen doesn’t try anymore of those experiments on them. What does he think we are? Laboratory rats?” (Ch19, pg93) Caswell makes his concern of human exploitation evident through the use point of view, positioning the reader to reject the brutality of Larsen’s exploitation of Rikky and allows the reader to consider what an individual is capable of doing when immersed in attempting to enhance humanity. “They’re scientists, it’s their job to destroy people’s peace and quiet, if that’s what it takes to find the answers.” (Ch19, pg93) If we are allowing exploitation to justify the greater good, we lose all sense of what we are, engrossed in being greater and...
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