Bloodchild Essay

Sarah Wicks
INTD 105

In the short story “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler, we learn through the protagonist Gan how the world works around him. We are exposed to the fact that Gan will eventually have to carry the eggs of the creatures that are in charge of the planet that Gan and his family live on. We read the way that Gan is exposed to the idea of how the process works. This is eye-opening for both the reader and Gan. Gan has lived with the idea that he will eventually do, this the first time that he is seeing what it looks like. In a way, we are like Gan in going into colleges. It was expected of most students in high schools that we will go to college. The majority of people who do go into higher education do not read things like the mission statements or the code conduct. These are forms of writing that indicate a college’s missions as well as how they want their students to act. Because many people do not read these statements, they may be surprised by certain rules that are enforced throughout their four years. However, even though many students are unaware of what these writings colleges are often enforcing them. This is like how Gan is unaware of how the eggs are being carried although T’Gatoi is continuing to enforce the tradition. This could also be seen when colleges started to make WiFi checkpoints to help take attendance for large lectures. This is done by taking a student’s location relative to a “checkpoint” This could be argued that this is an invasion of students’ privacy and that it is a form of Loco Parentis. This is because colleges are forcing students to download an app on to their phones that then take their locations at all times. The students who were having their locations tracked found that it was an overstep by the university because of the fact that it seems like the freedom that they had gained by going into college was now being taken away. In Bloodchild the humans are reservations and have restricted freedoms. This can be seen in the fact that because of rebellion that had happened between the Tilc and the humans. The humans now have no access to weapons. They also have to help the Tilc populations reproduce. The fact that humans have been placed in a position of submission is similar to how students on campuses in the modern world are being tracked and controlled. The humans in Bloodchild have no way to properly protect themselves and have no way to gain independence from the Tilc. In the story despite the fact that Gan understands that if he shoots the animal that their family would lose the last form of protection that they had. He chose to give that up in order to appease T’Gatoi. This shows how Gan is willing to take the risk of losing protection for his family for the sake of someone that he seems to be submissive to. When we look at this through that lense it can be seen that some students are like Gan accepting the loss of their privacy in order to keep the university and their professors happy. When looking at Bloodchild we understand that for Gan his life and his purpose were planned before he was born. His mother throughout the story was hesitant to leave Gan alone and is often animosity toward T’Gatoi. This could be seen as our parents looking out for us despite the rules that our colleges impose on us. The fact that Gan has blindly followed anything that T’Gatoi told him to do, even if it meant that there would be a lack of protection for his family is a way how students will blindly follow what is expected of them and never question what they are being told to do. They will let themselves be tracked by their universities without saying anything because of the fact that they see themselves in a submissive position. Due to the fact that many students are often unwilling to stand up for themselves and when they do they are often faced with disciplinary actions. Universities feel that they have a right to control students. They do not understand that they may see a repocution for their actions. When the humans rebelled they were defeated by the Tilc but, for the first time they saw that humans have a power that they were unaware of. In order to reestablish control they had taken their guns away. Despite the fact that they were able to regain control they had to maintain that position and they saw the way that they would do that is through restricting freedoms. Because of the fact that they humans had been defeated they were unwilling to stand up to the new restrictions that the Tilc placed on them. The humans live with the fear of what the Tilc might do if they rebel again. Because of this Gan’s mother is hesitant but ultimately compliant to what T’Gatoi wants. She understands what had happened when the humans had first rebelled. Although she does not want to give up her son she understands that she must. In conclusion, when you look at Bloodchild you can see similarities to the risks we take when we are compliant to someone in higher powers authority. We gain a better understand that despite the fact that we often go blindly into situations because of the fact that it was expected of us to do.

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