Pattern: Characters showing dominance/possession over another
My pattern was specifically found in part III of the book. Whether it was intentional (using possessive pronouns) or unintentional, there were several examples of various characters showing possession and dependence over another character.
Example 1: “You’re still thinking about your Paul Titus, aren’t you?” “He wasn’t mine.”
This was a conversation between Lilith and Tate. In this example, Paul Titus is used as a possession to Lilith. It makes it seem like Lilith is dominant. (p. 133)
Example 2: “Your mate needs any extra protection I can give him now.”(p. 159)
This was a conversation between Lilith and Nikanj. Joseph is now being connected to Lilith via possession. Lilith also seems dominant in this example.
Example 3: “Wherever Curt was, Celene was trembling nearby.” (p. 172)
This is an example of possession, but in a submissive way compared to the previous examples. Celene has made possession over Curt ever since they first met. She sees Curt as her protector and defender.
Example 4: “’No,’ Nikanj said softly in her ear- ‘only through me.’” (p. 162)
In this example, it seems as though Nikanj has taken possession/dominance over both Joseph and Lilith during the sex scene. It doesn’t come right out and say that they’re its possession; however its desire for power just shows its ability to be dominant over the humans. Dominance is a possessive quality.
Example 5: “’What structure?’ Tate began to smile. ‘You mean like a family…with you as Mama?” (p. 145)
Typically when you think of a mother or mother-figure, one would perceive her as having dominance and possession over her young. Lilith in a sense is the mother of the awakened humans, as she has been put in control of teaching them how to survive on the ship with the Oankali. Mothers guide their young to learn how to survive and take care of themselves, which is exactly what Lilith is doing with the awakened. I also find it interesting that “Mama” is capitalized, which is another way of showing importance and dominance.
Hypothesis: I believe that the pattern of dominance and possession relates to human’s natural desire for care-taking and power. I think that the characters show possessive characteristics because there’s a natural order to each society/relationship, with usually one person being the dominant force. It’s just a human instinct to be dominant. Although the Oankali are not human, they too show signs of possession as in example 4.
Return to text: After rereading my examples and my hypothesis a few times, I do believe that I have made a valid interpretation of the text. Although each example exhibits possession in a different way, they all still somehow relate. Some examples are definitely more obvious evidence of possession, such as in examples 1 and 2, as they have possessive pronouns. Examples 3, 4, and 5, although less obvious, are still good indicators of possessive/dominant traits. After rereading and thinking about my interpretation, it just helps me support my hypothesis further.