The Modern Concept Of Humanity In Octavia Butler's Dawn

1555 Words 7 Pages
What would a world be like if the most basic human freedoms were stripped away from us? For example, what if the act of entering a romantic relationship with another human being was made impossible? Or perhaps reproduction becomes heavily regulated and any hopes of starting a regular family are shattered? Luckily, reality is free of dystopian-esque problems like these. The modern era has lead to advances far beyond computers and smartphones; Science has discovered ways to unlock the secrets of the human body, man’s most powerful tool. Octavia Butler’s Dawn explores many ways of thinking regarding the use of different aspects of the human body and the challenges faced by the surviving members of the human race. The cultural and societal norms …show more content…
The modern concept of genetics has developed far beyond trying to predict traits using Punnett squares. However, tampering with something as old and familiar as the human body raises questions and concerns that we are difficult to address. One such issue is the ownership of genes for use in research or commercially. Something as personal and unique as human genes is nothing to take lightly, but what of their applications to the rest of mankind? Where can the line be drawn between helping humanity and dissecting humans in the name of “progress”? While the potential for medical advancement may seem appealing, the loss of ownership over genetic information is too high a price for society to pay. Human genetic information and material are the most unique and personal aspects of the human body. Giving them up could spell disaster for the future of ownership, both inside and outside the …show more content…
The situation encountered by Lilith and her fellow humans paints a picture of what types of reactions we can expect from those who have lost control over the ownership of their genetic material. While the events in Dawn are certainly far fetched, the actions of the Oankali addresses the concerns over very real happenings that have been present in reality. This evaluation of the topic of genetic ownership within science fiction allows for great discussions and comparisons in real life. This is the power of science fiction, the ability to take real situations and reimagine them in another world where these situations are at the forefront of the discussions within the fiction. In the case of Dawn, the humans have fallen from their position of power and their fears of powerlessness and lack of basic freedoms have been realized. By delving deeper into these fears and specifically focusing on the commandeering and use of their genes by the Oankali, we are able to compare the fears and thoughts of these depictions of humans to own fears and thoughts. In both cases, very valid concerns have been raised over the topic of gene ownership. Even though the medical advancements involved with the commercialization of genes seems alluring, it is in society 's best interests that one controls the use of their own genetic information. As evidenced in

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