Jillian's Reviews > Imago

Imago by Octavia E. Butler
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Jan 14, 08

bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in January, 2008

So after reading this series, I've gotten to thinking, What Would Jillian Do?

Given the choice between (1) shunning the aliens and living in an all-Human colony which is doomed to fail or (2) mating with said aliens, which would result in mixed-species children, with some remnants of human genetics but are not recognizable as such... which would I choose?

The difference between this book and reality (besides the aliens I guess) is that in the book it's more or less certain that humans are doomed to destroy themselves because of genetic conflict. We are intelligent, but also hierarchical - this latter trait is what causes people to need to be dominant, marginalizing and/or ostracizing those who are different from the norm. This could be a valid theory from what I can see - while I personally don't feel the need to constantly try to stand above others and put them down, there are enough people who do that makes me wonder if it is genetic, or somehow programmed into us. Though it's probably a result of society and culture... but anyways. In the book, the Humans are told about this genetic conflict and then given the choice - join the surviving humans (the ones who didn't die in the nuclear winter) and start again, certainly to die for good this time, or go with the aliens.

So in our world this hierarchical behaviour sucks, but as the cynical optimist I am, I will hope and believe that we can overcome this crappy behaviour and act like rational caring beings, someday. I'd join the human colony, unless I were really caused to believe that the colony was doomed to destroy itself. Then... maybe I'd do the aliens.

What would you do?
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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Having not read the book but from your question above, if the choice were this cut and dried ... and assuming that I did want to procreate, which is not my reality currently ... I would go with the aliens. I would probably go with the aliens even if I didn't want children. What is the point of being part of a society that is doomed to failure no matter what I may or may not do? Human or otherwise? Besides, not sure what is so great about being human?


Synesthesia I'd go with the aliens. They are fascinating and could teach me all the things I want to know.


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