Essay on The Farming Of Gods By Ibi Zoboi

Essay on The Farming Of Gods By Ibi Zoboi

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In “The Farming of Gods,” by Ibi Zoboi, Innocent (the father), Marisol (the mother), and Mango (the child/offspring/thing) are utilized to investigate what it means to be a parent. Mango, the offspring, is not a typical baby – he has multiple limbs, eyes, no body shape, and glows yellow/orange (not to mention that he nurses from the Earth and causes plants to grow). Marisol and Innocent tackle the parenthood of their “baby”/”seedling” drastically different through their reactions toward Mango, the isolation of father and mother, and Marisol’s motherly and womanly wants/needs.
Once Mango is born, Marisol and Innocent possess polar opposite reactions when seeing it/him. Marisol, for example, views Mango as their child, and cannot view him as anything other than that. After 96 hours of labor, the first thing Marisol considers saying to Innocent is that “they have your eyes” (56). Marisol does not care that Mango does not appear like a human child, that it is glowing, that it has multiple limbs – she only cares that she and Innocent created it. Marisol sees straight through the alien characteristic Mango has, and chooses to only see Mango as a baby. Later, as Innocent is contemplating after praying, he remembers his “wife’s smile, holding the small, squirming things within the folds of her thin arms” (57). From Innocent’s point of view, it is obvious how drastic the shift is between he and Marisol’s thoughts on Mango. Marisol, again, does not think to be repulsed by her child; she only wants to be near him and to care for him.
On the other hand, Innocent views Mango as a seedling and cannot view it as a baby, especially his. When the nurse finally identifies the sex of Mango, Innocent recalls, “Not since the waning days of the chole...


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...s a normal, human boy would. Innocent has to reach a consensus with his form of “fatherhood” though he rejects it. Fatherhood for Innocent now involves a version of farming where he must care for his “son”/”seedling” as he would fertilizer, bringing him to areas that are in a desperate need for food. Mango was an experiment to assist in creating genuine, immediate food, but the scientists did not want to leave him on the island. As Innocent and Marisol were able to escape from the compound, the Haitian people now maintain a hope for a future though it is with an alien-like boy. Ibi Zoboi stretches the concept of parenthood to its limits, and causes readers to question what makes someone a parent or a child. “The Farming of Gods” seeks to redefine the term “parenthood” and does so in a creative way through the sci-fi elements of alien life and the future of medicine.

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