Bloodchild: Oppression in Science Fiction Essay

Bloodchild: Oppression in Science Fiction Essay

Length: 1402 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Bloodchild: Oppression in Science Fiction


Throughout American literary history, nearly every form of literature has covered the topic of slavery and black oppression in America. From William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist papers to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s controversial Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, the exploration of the black position in America has been a theme that engrossed generations. In the past century, as science fiction has established its place in the literary genre, authors such as Octavia Butler have become increasingly popular. In her short story "Bloodchild", Butler extends the discussion of oppression in America into the science fiction genre. In this manner her story, "…like almost all science fiction, though it seems to concern itself with human beings and worlds of the far distance and future, it also concerns itself with the here and now" (Asimov 110).

Within the first few passages of "Bloodchild", Butler establishes that the Tlic clan has oppressed the Terran clan in the past. Though this history of superiority and oppression exists between the two species, T’Gatoi, a Tlic, is still a friend of this Terran family. "Only she [T’Gatoi] and her political faction stood between us and the hordes who did not understand why there was a Preserve…or…did not care" (Butler 1036). Gan and his family are forced to live on a preserve, keeping the Tlic from entering in and enslaving his family further.

Already, one can see the similarity to the United States of America’s relations with the African-American people. Butler substitutes the race issue with a difference of species, creating an obvious physical incongruity between the oppressed and oppressors. This physical difference was often r...


... middle of paper ...


...d its treatment of those who differ physically from the majority of the population. Through science fiction, Butler has reached another section of the literary audience, and challenged them to open their minds and to change their world.

Bibliography

Primary Source

Butler, Olivia. "Bloodchild." The Prentice Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Ed. Garyn G. Roberts. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001.1035-1049.

Secondary Sources

Asimov, Isaac. "Science Fiction and Society". Asimov on Science Fiction. American Medical Association. 103-111

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Fold. New York: Fawcett World Library, 1903.

Litwak, Leon. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow. New York: Knopf, 1998.

Rundblad, Georganne and Peter Kivisto. Multiculturalism in the United States. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 2000.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Themes in Science Fiction Essay

- Over the many years of English literature and various forms of media, the ideals of the times and of the creators of these works have changed; some drastically, some possibly not as much. The genre of science fiction is no exception. Take, for example, two of the most widely-known science fiction novels in the history of English literature: The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, written in the late 1800s in Victorian England by H.G. Wells—novels which, quite arguably, revolutionized the science fiction genre—and their modern theatrical counterparts....   [tags: science fiction, persuasive]

Powerful Essays
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Science Fiction : A Genre Of Speculative Fiction Essay

- When hearing the term “science fiction” one would imagine a film filled with unrealistic gadgets, humans with super powers and even technology of the future. However, science fiction is much more than that. Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with whimsical concepts such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space and time travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. Over time, this genre has changed and thrived due to an increase in available technology and science which led to an increase in special effects and filming techniques....   [tags: Science fiction, Science fiction film, Metropolis]

Powerful Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)

Science And Religion : Science Fiction Essay

- In the world in which we live in today, science and religion as a whole are considered to be opposites. While many have tried to combine the two to make a cohesive argument as to how the world came to be and the rules that guide it, for example creationism, the general consensus is that the two are completely separate sets of beliefs that do not complement each other. While this is a popular opinion in today’s world, the science fiction genre does not cater to the real world. One of science fiction’s most identifiable qualities is that it does not confine to reality or society’s rules of universal order....   [tags: Frankenstein, Science fiction, Paradise Lost]

Powerful Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Science Fiction : A Space Odyssey Essay

- The History of science fiction is one of mankind’s richest forms of true expression, captured by the imagination. Even as make-believe as science fiction may be seem in its time, It more often than not plays on real life concepts and cultural issues of mankind’s present day climate, only slightly skewed from reality. It is these concepts that have the power to immerse audiences into something so rich that it’s slightly slanted factuality, from reality, causes little concern. Science fiction plays on concepts of paranoia, anxieties, invasion and exploration that are often at the centre of social and cultural issues of modern day life here on Earth....   [tags: Frankenstein, Science fiction, Novel]

Powerful Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

The Issue Of Science Fiction Essay

- You Must be This Daedalean to Join Perhaps most of what is considered “science fiction” today do not deserve such a prestigious title. Rather, they should fall under the genre of space adventure, or one of the many fantasy genres. This is what Philip K. Dick argues in an essay titled My Definition of Science Fiction. He regards stories that simply take place in the future—typically in space—cannot automatically be considered science fiction even if they involve advanced technologies beyond our current understanding of the universe....   [tags: Science fiction, Fiction, Short story, Mind]

Powerful Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Popularity Of Science Fiction

- By the 1950s, the film industry was in full swing, and going to the movies became a routine pastime for many. One way in which studios kept audiences returning to movie theatres occurred with the development of science fiction films. Though science fiction films had already been around for decades with films such as A Trip to the Moon and Frankenstein, it became an overwhelmingly popular genre and was in its prime throughout the 1950s. The production of science fiction films drew audiences in, becoming one of the most significant genres of the decade....   [tags: World War II, Nuclear weapon, Science fiction]

Powerful Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Science Fiction Differences Between Britain and America Essay

- “Live long and prosper” may be the words which bring back good memories for the average geek in America but this may not be the case for a typical British geek. This is despite the fact that science fiction series in television have been hugely popular in both the U.S. and the U.K. all throughout history. After the 1960s, ‘New Wave’ science fiction began to take over television screens. ‘New Wave’ refers to science fiction which was characterized by a high degree of experimentation (Wolfe). It was during this time when the U.S and the U.K started to telecast science fiction series which had a huge impact on society....   [tags: Science Fiction]

Powerful Essays
1429 words (4.1 pages)

The Science Fiction Genre Of Frankenstein And Blade Runner Essay

- The science fiction genre has changed drastically over the past hundred years. From simple beginnings with painted backgrounds, the genre has adapted to special effects by the updating technology. Even films that share the similarity of genre can differ vastly from each other. An example of this would be the science fiction films Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931) and Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982). While these two films share the same genre they do not share much else. The time period between the two films creates a gap between the overall look and storyline....   [tags: Science fiction, Science fiction film]

Powerful Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Changing Role of Science Fiction

-    Science fiction means a lot of things to a lot of different people, thus a variety of definitions have arisen to allow for this. Perhaps the most simple of these can be found in the The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which states that science fiction is "fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals" (652). Most of academia, however, prefers an extended version from Darko Suvin, who says SF is: A literary genre whose necessary and sufficient conditions are the presence and interaction of estrangement and cognition, and whose main formal device is an imaginative framework alternative to the author's empirical environmen...   [tags: Science Fiction Essays]

Powerful Essays
2347 words (6.7 pages)

Essay about The Genre Of Science Fiction

- The Genre of Science Fiction      Science Fiction has been interpreted by many in a wrong way. Most people feel that the author is just in love with the future. However this is not the truth in most science fiction novels. The majority of Science Fiction books are more about the horrors of the future. In Fahrenheit 451 the author Ray Bradbury makes an argument for societies need to consider that the outcomes of science fiction might become realities. The origin of science fiction '…evolved from the industrial revolution that spawned notions of the rockets, robots, time machines, computers, satellites, matter-transports, and the like'; (Johnson 6)....   [tags: Science fiction Literature Bradbury Essays]

Powerful Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)