Category Archives: Reading Journal

Journal Entry 6

“Your children will know us, Lilith. You never will.” –  Kahguyaht   (Page 111)

When Kahguyaht said “you never will” It is implying that Lilith will never truly understand the Onakali (aliens) both physically nor mentally.  Lilith does not have the sensory organs which the aliens posses.  Their organs let them experience unimaginable sensations which we would never be able to experience nor understand. In a way it’s as trying to envision the 4th dimension.  The 4th dimension is not something you can see, hear or touch.  It is a something we cannot experience because we are bounded to own 3 dimension body and world. Scientist have an idea of what this phenomena is but, no one could truly understand the 4th dimension.

When it stated ” Your children will know us” it is implying that Lilith’s children will be genetically tampered with which will allow them to have sensory organs that are similar to the aliens.  This is foreshadowing what will be of humans in the future. They will be a hybrid creature with traits of both alien and human.  In a sense, the pureness of a human will be lost.  When Kahguyaht stated this, Lilith said nothin.  She has accepted her people’s faith and is no longer going against the aliens.  Then again she never had a choice.  It’s either agree with the aliens or be but back into suspended animation until she agrees.

Throughout the entire novel, humans never had to option to leave to Earth without being experimented on and genetically altered first.  The Onakali believe that tampering with the humans will increase their chance for survival.  The Onakali’s intensions are positive, but in doing so, it ripped the freedom right out of humanity.

-Henry Aguilar

Journal 6

“They won’t trust or help. They’ll probably kill me. ’’

“They won’t.”

You don’t understand us as well as you think you do.”

“And you don’t understand us at all. You never will, really, though you’ll be given much   more information about us.”

“Then put me back to sleep, dammit, and choose some-one you think is brighter! I never   wanted this job!”

It was silent for several seconds. Finally, it said “Do you really believe I was disparaging     your intelligence?”

She glared at it, refusing to answer. “I thought not. Your children will know us, Lilith. You never will. (Family II, The end of Chapter 12.)

I think this passage is very important because it shows that Lilith has no control of what the aliens to her. It also shows the aliens intentions to harvest a human for their own. This passage also shows how resilient Lilith is towards the aliens that she will not give in to their demands even though she clearly has no say. This passage is right after Paul tried to have her way with her she defends him, Lilith is full of empathy. The aliens clearly don’t care about her but have a purpose for her.

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.

Reading Journal #5

Dawns’s plot is centered on the Oankali, an alien specie that disturbingly differ from humans in their manner of existence. They look extremely different than us and they have three genders: male, female and ooloi. Brother and sisters usually mate in association with a ooloi. There is a logic in their system of breeding. The siblings’ genes combined keep and strengthen their desirable characteristics and the ooloi, called the “treasured strangers,” sort of balance out the combination, avoiding problems caused by interbreeding. Finally, they use genetic manipulation to alter themselves and their environment. From all the living things Oankali have encountered so far, they had extracted and manipulated genetic information as well as incorporated what they judged useful to their own genetic code. They are the result of a radical process of interbreeding and absorption of other species genetic material.

In essence, the Oankali, offensively, differ from humans. Indeed, they contradict the most fundamental foundations for human beings: They blur and rearrange gender differences, family structures and the very way species manage to survive. Their appearance is shocking at first but the possibility their lives represent to us is, to say the least, blasphemous and stunning.

Journal Entry 5

The comparison of how aliens treat humans vs. how humans treat animals

In the novel Dawn, alien Jdahya has been helping Lilith recover from what seems to be a nuclear war on earth. He has brought her among his ship and has been trying its best efforts to encourage her wellbeing.  At first Lilith was trapped in a white boxed room without windows similar to a cage in which we would keep an animal.  Jdahya along with other of his kind observed her intensely without Lilith even knowing that she was captured by aliens. The aliens did not tell her where she was because they knew that Lilith would be overwhelmed.  Lilith was suffering in her caged box for two “awakened” years.  Loneliness cause insanity and depression and the aliens were well of that.  They wanted to wait for the right moment to introduce themselves.  When Jdahya finally introduced himself and told her everything, Lilith became furious at the fact that no one told her anything about why she was in her box.  Jdahya countered her a aggression with the simple term, “It was for your own good.”  Similarly, that is what we do to animals. Being that we are more intelligent than animals, we do things to them that they don’t understand that may harm them now but will help them in the long-run. For example, giving a dog a shot for rabies. The dog is unwilling to take the shot but we forcefully give it to it because it’s for his own good.  Lilith was fed regularly with plain tasting, colorless, yet nutritional food.  Lilith detested it and wish she had something better tasting.  Again this food was given to increase her health.  We do the same to our pets.  I’m sure that our pets hate eating the same repetitive foods over and over again but, we feed it to them because it increases there overall health.  In conclusion, the aliens are treating the humans as animal.  They are observing and experimenting with them.

Journal 5

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler is a great novel that reminded me of the 2012 film Prometheus when the reader realizes that protagonist, has been kept in confinement for two hundred and fifty four years. Reminded me of how the crew in Prometheus the passengers had traveled for two years to be awakened like it was nothing. Lilith didn’t even realize she was kept for that long. Another cool moment was when the aliens removed her cancer made me think if they had some advanced machinery like they did in the movie Prometheus. The novel also reminded me of the 2010 film Shutter Island, it’s also a novel in which the main character is distorted from a past event that he starts too see things that aren’t there. Dawn and the Shutter Island novel had kind of the similar beginning. I was really amazed by imagery in this novel best book so far that didn’t put me to sleep.

Reading Journal #5 – Dawn

Octavia Butler’s Dawn is really an interesting book. The main question while reading through it is “why?” Why are the Oankali (an Alien race who have little to no facial features except for tentacles shaped around the eye sockets and no eyeballs) helping Lilith, a human who’s been imprisoned by them for around two years. She’s been by herself for a long time considering that her husband and only son have been in a fatal car accident that left them both dead, and with Cancer being in the family genes, her family suffered a great toll. However thanks to the Oankali, they cured her Cancer and made her live longer. The goal for the Oankali was to have Lilith train other humans in order to survive in the new world they’re going to be exposed to. My main question is still “why”? They never answer Lilith’s questions when she asks them, but they examine her without her consent. It feels like one of those horror movies where the main villain is usually the one you end up trusting the most because of how nice they are to you, only to get back stabbed. They act really nice towards even with doing what they did, but who knows? They’re not answering anything she’s asking, so they probably are hiding a secret from her.

Reading Journal #5- 3/27/14- Dawn

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.

Journal #4

The topic of empathy is repeated throughout all of ” Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” as a way to differentiate humans from androids. It is believed that androids do not have emotion, and therefor cannot connect to organic life. Humans have made animals a symbol of morality, encouraging each other to care for them in an public, congratulatory way. This way of expressing empathy leads to the Voight-Kampff test, used to determine who is human and who is not. The focus on emotion isolates in-organics. 

 Rick Deckard, a hunter of androids, is obsessed with having a live, organic animal. Society has put so much emphasis on feeling for others that Deckard believes he does not feel empathy the way he should. He buys an electric sheep to replace his deceased one, but is not satisfied. Deckard does not think he can connect to electric animals or androids because they do not express emotion like humans. He uses his lack of a ‘real’ animal as an excuse for his dispassion with those around him. 

This idea is challenged later when Deckard has sex with Rachel Rosen, an android. She tries to prove to him that androids are not just machines, but do in fact have emotion. When humans display behavior that would suggest they lack empathy, Deckard begins to question his idea of what it means to be human. At the end of the novel Deckard gains an electric toad, and is unphazed by the fact that it is not organic.

Journal 4

In the novel of “Do androids dream of electric sheep” a major theme is empathy. In the beginning of the novel Deckard questions the empathy he has for his electric sheep he cares for it but feels that his sheep doesn’t have any connection towards him. Deckard’s job is to retire androids it’s a civil job that doesn’t pay enough for the proper animal to own at home. Deckard quickly learns that humans can have no empathy and become something else that isn’t human like his partner Phil Resch who shot an android because he needed too. Deckard also learns that androids can develop empathy for example; when Rachel Rosen slept with him to prove that there’s more to androids than meets the eye.