October 25, 2011

Lilith’s Brood

Filed under: Sci-Fi —— will @ 10:55 pm

When it comes to the question of agency in “Lilith’s Brood,” the one example that I think of is the part about Lilith wanting paper and writing utensils.  She is not allowed to have either since the aliens have decided that this is not allowed.  This for me brings up the question of how much Lilith can make choices and have those choices impact her new world.  The ability to write is for us such a basic right.  Every day we can choose to write something or draw something or choose to do something else.  To not have what to me seems to be a very basic choice causes me to question if the aliens really know what is better for Lilith than she.  She says that it is the best way for her to learn new things but that is just brushed off and she is just flat out denied her request.  The aliens tell her that she will remember and learn using their method and not the way that she is conditioned to learn and remember.  This then leads down a whole new avenue as she is pretty much being forced to merge her genetics with the aliens.  She will not be able to remember without writing things down and since that option is off the table her only other option is the one forced upon her.  So she is now in quite the pickle since she is expected to learn and teach but not allowed to do it any other way than merging herself with the aliens.  Her consent to this is one out of necessity and not out of free choice.  It’s either their way or the highway and that does not to me feel like she has any agency at all in her new world.  Sure she can choose not to merge but then her learning curve is going to be impeded.  This causes a false sense of agency since her choices in this world are more or less forced upon her.  Any choice that she makes does not appear as if it will have any impact on the world around her.  If her choices are already determined for her, how can she impact the future in her own way when the aliens have already decided how they want the world to be?  Lilith is handcuffed into pretty much doing exactly as the aliens say even if they coerce her more complexly than just a simple “We say, you do.  Period.”  Any time she does question the way, it seems their only other offer is to kill her.  I guess if your option is to fall in line or die most will choose life.

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