“…This one might have been taught to parent a group himself, but when I showed the other ooloi the match, they agreed that the two of you should be together.”
“You…you chose him for me?”
“I offered you to one another. The two of you did your own choosing.”
This part of the novel shows just how controlling the ooloi are. After Lilith and Joseph’s experience through Nikanj, it reveals to her that she didn’t really have a choice with who she mated with. It was already decided by the ooloi that they were a good match, and they were set up to pick each other. This causes doubts in Lilith between what is real and what is a neural stimulation from the ooloi. They know her wants and body better than she does and that takes control out of her hands.
Octavia Butler’s novel Dawn is a very terrifying outlook on what could happen to the human race. “Humanicide” is becoming more of a threat as destructive technologies keep advancing, and more countries are gaining access to nuclear weapons. What stood out for me was the social commentary Butler added to her writing. This novel was published in 1987 during the midst of the Cold War. The not so subtle hint at total nuclear devastation spoke measures back then, and it resonates even stronger now and in the near future. The actions of the Oankali mirrored the atrocities committed during the times of slavery in the United States. The Oankali treated the humans disgustingly, ignoring cries for clothes and depriving them of their culture. This novel holds a lot of reflection on the past and present times.
One part of the novel that stuck with me was when Clousarr struck R.Daneel. Baley reacted in a way that was defensive. He exclaimed “What the devil”, and he then “snatched violently at Clousarr”. Baley knows that Daneel is a robot, but acts as though that blow could have injured him. Baley was either beginning to connect to Daneel, or the thin line that made him an android was forgotten momentarily.
Daneel then apologizes for hurting Clousarr’s hand. The moment passes and both men remember he is an android again. Clousarr then compares Baley to an android and any bond between Danell and Baley is broken. The officers were working pretty well in unison and Clousarr broke it up, This moment showed that life with both androids and humans working together is possible, but not with extremists among them.
One moment that really stuck with me was when Lije’s wife, Jesse, came clean about her meetings with the Environmentalists. She was so bitter about Baley stripping her name of any power she thought that it held, so she went behind his back. Jezebel is a name associated with “painted lady’s” in the Bible, or prostitutes. Her final act of getting made up before leaving the station showed her indignation as a woman of status (higher up than most) in the face of her self-exposition. She may have went behind Baley’s back because he made her feel trapped and stripped of power; but in the end she kept her role as a faithful wife.