Yes, I’m referring to Connie’s sex scenes *cringe*.
So as I predicted the book seems to be more about the human drama. That is not to say that technology isn’t mentioned or acknowledged. It just seems to not be much of a focal point of the story. The protagonists are definitely human, not machine, not artificial, not “other”.
Just to mention a few things that stand out in this bizarre future:
- People can communicate with animals using gestures, even domestic animals meant to be food (89). There is definitely a connection with nature that seems to lack in the “present” setting.
- The language used leaves out gender. His/her has become “Per”, He/She is just referred to as “Person”, Himself/Herself is now “P’self”.
- Following with this train of thought, children are not taught the present sex roles, toys are gender-neutral, men can become “mothers”, etc.
- Materials are not wasted, personal items used for pleasure are disposable and biodegradable, or otherwise meant to last and “rented” as one would borrow a book at a library. Personal possessions don’t seem to be a “thing” in the future.
- Kids are put out in the wilderness to fend for themselves Hunger Games-style as an initiation into adulthood.
- They seem to be fighting some kind of enemy (Aliens? Robots?). On page 93 Luciente mentions that they are fighting a battle against “robots or cybernauts”.
- Multicultural test tube babies!
Connie’s conflicts with this future:
- Women gave up the only remaining power they had, birth (97) and breastfeeding (126) to achieve equality.
- Connie believes the future society can’t truly love their test tube offspring like a real mother who gave birth would, she sees in them the family that adopted Angelina and resents them for that. However on page 125 Luciente assures her “You think because we do not bear live, we cannot love our children… but we do, with whole hearts”.
- Connie’s idea of what makes a “good” man is made clear on page 112, where she enumerates a series of qualities that fit the stereotypical “manly” attributes.
Connie finds a similarity with the people of the future having different names throughout their lives, since she herself has different names for her own different personas: Consuelo, the submissive Mexican woman; Connie, the hard-working woman who went to college and got decent jobs; and Conchita, the drunk, mean part of her that gets her through jail and the bughouse, and the one who hurt Angelina (114).
Regarding the future society, their notion of evil is explained by Magdalena as being based on greed and power, taking away from others their food, liberty, health, land, customs and pride (131).
The children are everyone’s future, so it becomes everyone’s social responsibility to nurture and take care of them. All children, even strangers (175).
I just hope things get more interesting and we have an actual plot twist or something, other than Barbarossa having bewbs.