Reading Journal #6

The Oankali is divided into three categories according to where they will live. Dinso are the ones who are gonna stay on Earth, the Toaht members will continue to live in the ship they are and Akjais will leave in the new ship. The Oankali understand that the survival of the species depend on them splitting and expanding, and they believe the future generations can reunited and will have a lot to exchanged. This idea sounds really strange to Lilith: “They probably won’t even know one another.” To what Jdahya answers: “No, they’ll recognize one another. Memory of a division is passed on biologically. I remember every one that has taken place in my family since we left the homeworld”(p.36).

This super species Memory is a fascinating idea. Humans don’t have that so the fact that we accumulate so many documents proving that we are related, so many family photo albums and, more recently, so much data on the Web that register our connections seems to be a desperate and not so efficient way to keep those people in our memory. The Oankali reject paper, pencil and any other external artifact that are not in connection with their bodies. Oankalis are “traders” who maintain a symbiotic relationship with everything that surrounds them. While humans, interact with this type of technology that we have now just by perceiving this inanimate objects that does interact with us in return. In that sense, we are split us from our records and we can not perpetuate our memories by heritage.  That suggests that humans are less connected to their ancestors than Oankalis. It’s strange that Lilith cares so much about preserving a species that has much less ability of remembering her.

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