Pattern: Language and gestures used toward Lilith by the aliens comparing her actions to that of a child. All examples contain phrases that seem to show a comparison between childishness and earthlings that, for years, considered themselves at the top of hierarchy in their environment.
Example 1: “It was all she could do to stay where she was. She drew her knees up against her chest and hugged them to her tightly” (17).
Like a child, Lilith goes into fetal position instead of facing her fear.
Example 2: “She got up and all but fell across the bed, damning him, and, to her humiliation, crying a little. Eventually she slept” (20-21).
Yet another scene where Lilith’s reaction could have been compared to the tantrums of a child. She got up yelled, cried, then had “nap time.”
Example 3: “‘Lie on the bed.’ he said, ‘or on the floor over here. Not over there.’ She lay rigid, silent. ‘If you stay where you are, I’ll take the bed’” (20).
Lilith was punished the way children are. If you don’t do ______I will take this away.
Example 4: “It did not move. It continued to speak in the same soft voice. ‘Ooan says humans won’t be worth talking to for at least a generation.’” (78).
Humans are not capable or “adult” enough to handle the situation that has been thrust upon them.
Hypothesis 1: The extraterrestrial aliens considered themselves to have hierarchy over the humans. They treated humans like children that just wouldn’t understand. When speaking to Lilith there is mention of using a _soft _voice as if to not alarm the human just like in human culture when talking to children there is a nurturing, gentle voice used when speaking on difficult topics. This may tell the reader that these gene-trading beings picked earth because it knew that humans would react to discipline and action by the aliens as a child would thus making Earth an easy target. The belief that their alien knowledge far surpassed earth’s could have shown why the aliens chose this time in particular to capture earthlings. Not only may the aliens have come to earth because of the vulnerable time for the environment but because humans were already perceived as a simpler/more naive society.
Hypothesis 2: On a grander scheme, this could be compared to African Americans’ struggles in history with non-consenting experiments. Tests on subjects during the Tuskegee Syphilis trials, for instance, were not explained as far as how or what the tests were for. Subjects were instead ignored or lied to until cooperation ensued. Comparisons using children can be cross compared to a past society that did not consider African Americans truly “adult” or qualified to be full human beings. Negative connotations surrounding the use of “boy” when referring to an adult black man was also a very well noted issue associated with the disconnect between “American-ness” and blackness in past history. This action caused many issues of dissonance between “Black” and “White” culture. In order to disturb the cognitive associations of the human brain, Butler wanted the reader to imagine what life may be like in an alternate universe that treated mankind, as a whole, as inferior in order to create insight on issues within American culture.