Pattern: The pattern is one of broken passages by use of ellipse.

  • “Alive! Still alive. Alive…again.” (page 5)
  • “You’re…what? From some other world?” (page 12)
  • “Long and slender or short and thick as… As what? As his mood changed (page 15)
  • “I don’t understand why I’m so…afraid of you,” she whispered” (page 17)
  • “A few days…I don’t know. Fewer than six” (page 48)


Hypothesis 1: The use of ellipses is meant to portray the uneasiness, the lack of calm, collected thought, the protagonist is feeling. This seems plausible since most of the broken thought is related to Lilith’s speech or thought.

Hypothesis 2: The use of ellipses is supposed to mirror the broken connection between Lilith and the Oankali. The premise of this comes from the bizarre nature of the sentence structure mirroring the bizarre circumstances of the story.