Vegan Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 555 comments Mod
Share your thoughts on the first part of Adulthood Rites here!


message 2: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 555 comments Mod
Just finished part one this morning...

Okay. So.

Obviously, I'm very intrigued by Akin (and his name). What an interesting child! He's incredibly inquisitive - it makes me wonder if he would be like that as a 100% human. I feel bad knowing he is essentially an experiment because human-born males are considered dangerous - is that only because the men we've met tend to hate the Oankali? I think they have a right to that hatred.

I like that Tino "could accept [Akin] without understanding." The world would be a much better place if more people were like that. We don't have to understand something or someone to be respectful, compassionate, etc. Different cultures, races, experiences...Even animals. They're different from humans, but those differences don't make them worse or inferior.

After Lilith meets Tino, I was struck by Lilith's words when Tino asked if she was forced to have kids. She tells him, "One of them surprised me." I was disgusted by this in the first book and am still disgusted. And again, I can't help but find parallels between this and how we treat animals. Cows are impregnated by force for milk, and the Oankali are against using animals...yet are okay using women...okay...Though Lilith acknowledges that yes, she did want children, she says, "But if I had the strength not to ask, it should have had the strength to let me alone." This is what bothered me so much about Nikanj and continues to bother me. It didn't give Lilith a choice, so I can never like it.

I really expected Tino to be the one to steal Akin, especially because Dichaan warned him not to be alone with him. Butler writes that Akin came to trust Tino very quickly and so did everyone else eventually. I really felt like that was leading up to Akin being alone with Tino in the woods and Tino just...taking him. When that didn't happen, I was both happy and not happy - happy because it was a twist and unhappy because, well, I don't want Akin to be hurt!

Also, I know this isn't the point of the novel(s), but I'm really interested in the food they mention. For example, "scigee" - it's made from a war-mutated plant and has the same taste and texture of pigs.

I'm definitely interested in seeing how the rest of the novel plays out. What will the humans do with (or to) Akin? What more will we learn about him and the humans? I already have some sympathy for both, so I wonder if I'll have even more for the humans. I know they're "evil," but...it's understandable in a way, isn't it?

Looking forward to hearing what the rest of you think of the book so far!


message 3: by Ayoola (new)

Ayoola | 48 comments Yes, bodily autonomy continues to be an important theme in this book. Both for humans and, now, for constructs with Akin’s kidnapping.

When I read this book the first time, I just assumed that Akin (I pronounced it in my head as Ah-KEEN) was a middle eastern or African name. I see that it is a Scottish surname, but I don’t see anything about its meaning as a first name. I wonder how Butler came to choose that name. Names are VERY important in all of her books as far as I can tell, so I know this was thought out. I also was assuming that people’s aversion to the name Lilith had to do with the biblical Lilith, since, at least in Phoenix, they obviously still believe in Christianity. But then I saw how they have made their own myths around Lilith, our character in the book. Myth-making is obviously another important feature of humanity and a resistance tool. It does not appear that the Oankali have myths, since they apparently never forget anything, even things that happened to their genetic predecessors a long time ago.


message 4: by Ayoola (new)

Ayoola | 48 comments And yes, scigee sounds fascinating. It reminds me of how many plants are being used as meat and dairy alternatives nowadays. When I was a kid (my friend was vegetarian; I wasn’t yet) all the mock meats and such were soy based. Now, we’ve got jackfruit for pulled pork, milk from green peas, eggs from mung beans... it’s wild! And also so much more accessible.


message 5: by Ayoola (new)

Ayoola | 48 comments And yes, scigee sounds fascinating. It reminds me of how many plants are being used as meat and dairy alternatives nowadays. When I was a kid (my friend was vegetarian; I wasn’t yet) all the mock meats and such were soy based. Now, we’ve got jackfruit for pulled pork, milk from green peas, eggs from mung beans... it’s wild! And also so much more accessible.


message 6: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 555 comments Mod
Ayoola wrote: "Yes, bodily autonomy continues to be an important theme in this book. Both for humans and, now, for constructs with Akin’s kidnapping.

When I read this book the first time, I just assumed that Aki..."


I thought the same thing about Lilith's name! When it was revealed that it was just because of how notorious Lilith herself was, I was taken aback. Obviously, she is controversial among the humans, but knowing that stories about her are being passed around from human to human was so interesting.


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