Species interconnection (Responses)
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Butler’s science fiction often dwells on biological and medical conditions. In “Bloodchild,” she emphasizes the species interconnection that characterizes all life (humans, for example, cohabitate with some species, possess and eat others, and are colonized by others such as the flu virus). In your own words, describe the Terran/Tlic relationship. Is it one of symbiosis, or parasitism, or commensalism? Depending on your answer, what do you make of Butler’s comment that “Bloodchild” is a “love story between two very different beings” (30)? Is it? How do you know? What about her comment that Tlic impregnation is based on the habits of the botfly, which “disturb” her (31)? Can you love a being whose habits are horrific, maybe even dangerous to you? Can that being love you? Why/how? T’Gatoi assures Gan that Terrans are “not animals” to the Tlic, but she moves “restlessly” when she says so (24). Why do you think Butler makes her feel uncomfortable speaking these words? Should we believe her? What about her behavior and that of other Tlic confirm her words or give her the lie? How much of a necessary commodity are human bodies to the Tlic? Would they force us to bear their young if we refused to do so, do you think?
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3/14/2016 13:53:16Sallyyim16
It is commensalism because the fact that Terran is the human and Tlic is the species. The Tlic is the more dominant.It's not really a love story its more of a abusive relationship where one is just taking abuse mentally. I don't think we should believe her because at the end we realize they were using the Terrans for reproduction use.The human bodies are important because without the Terrans the Tlic would be unable to reproduce. They may reinforce it due to the fact that they really don't have much of a choice because they need to reproduce and keep their race going.
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3/14/2016 14:01:03gymlife
Terrans could be considered to be the hosts. Which are the more human like species in the story. The Tlic are the creatures which benefit more from the Terrans. The relationship between the Tlic and the Terrans could be considered to be parasitism because Tlic are making the Terrans their hosts and later on eating them.Yea we do agree with Butlers comment that "Bloodchild" is a love story because Gan talks about his affection towards T-Gatoi even though he feels scared after he witnessed Lomas procedure of giving birth, he still manages to feel the same way towards T-Gatoi towards the end of the story. It disturbs Butler that the Tlic impregnation is based on the habits of the botfly but she manages to overcome her problem for love. Yes its possible to love an individual whose actions are wrong and sometimes fearful because when you love someone you overlook the bad in them and tend to just recognize the good in them.She moves restlessly because she is lien. Butler makes her feel uncomfortable to make the reader know that she is not being truthful towards Gan. Her behavior confirms that its a lie because they are using the Terrans for their benefit and the Terrans are getting little to no benifit from the Tlic. They are the highest necessary commodity to the Tlic because they depend on the Terrans bodies for their young to be born and also as a source of food. They would force us bear their young if the we refuse because they need them in order to keep their species alive.
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9/15/2016 17:08:14Fshariff101The Terran/Tlic relationship is a symbiotic one, where both of these very different species coexist by forming a long term bond. Since the alien Tlic cannot bear their own young, the Tlic develops a relationship with its potential male Terran host until it is time for impregnation of the alien fetus. The human female Terrans are able to carry human fetuses, and thus both species are able to survive on their shared planet. The relationship between the Terrans and the Tlic is not a love story, but a necessary bond that needs to take place in order for the survival of both species.
The Tlic impregnation and manifestation of a botfly infection both involve worms. The botfly lays its eggs in a wound on human skin, and maggots grow and infest the area. In a Tlic pregnancy, the growing "fetus" and resulting baby are worms inside the male body.
T’Gatoi is trying to reassure Gan that Terrans are not animals to the Tlic, but she is uncomfortable doing so because Gan just witnessed T’Gatoi in a primitive state while ravaging and feasting on Bram Lomas’s body. Lomas’s body was also abandoned by the Tlic who impregnated him (not unlike an animal), leaving him for dead until T’Gatoi saved him.The human Terran bodies are vital to the Tlic because without them, the existence of the Tlic would eventually cease. The Tlic cannot carry their own young, so the humans serve as vessels.
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9/16/2016 1:27:27nathjav The relationship between Terrans and Tlic was harmoniuos, because they learned how to share the same planet. It was symbiosis because both get advantage from each other. Terrans used to eat tlic's eggs to get more energy and live longer, and Tlic needed human's bodies to keep themselves warm and procreate more eggs. I think it was a love story between both species, because T'Gatoi was there all Gan's life and Gan's mother told him to always respect T'Gatoi and it was an honor that T'Gatoi was part of the family. And I think there are different types of love. There are masochistic people that love others even though they suffer, but personally, I can't love someone who is dangerous to others. I think T'Gatoi acted that way because she know that the things that she was saying was not that easy, so she felt uncomfortable having that conversation. I think they will force us, because of course they want more of them , In that way their population will grow up, so they won't become extinct.
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9/16/2016 10:01:19JulietW78The relationship between the Terran and Tlic is commensalism because they are described by Butler as two different forms of ideas. The Terran orgnisms benefited from the Tilc but the Tilc were not necessarily affected. At the end of the story, Gan shows that it is possible to at least show an act of love towards a very different being that is not your own. He accepted T'Gatoi's eggs because he cared for her and grew up trusting her. He also at the same time made an act od love towards his sister, he did not want her to suffer in the way he had just seen.I believe Butler wanted the reader to see that even a powerful being like T'Gatoi felt scared.GAn says it himself on page 5, he describes the Tlic as impatient. He also states "I had seen the desperate eagerness in the way some people looked at me." The eagerness and frustration going around could have forced them to use their young as well.
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9/16/2016 10:01:19JulietW78The relationship between the Terran and Tlic is commensalism because they are described by Butler as two different forms of ideas. The Terran orgnisms benefited from the Tilc but the Tilc were not necessarily affected. At the end of the story, Gan shows that it is possible to at least show an act of love towards a very different being that is not your own. He accepted T'Gatoi's eggs because he cared for her and grew up trusting her. He also at the same time made an act od love towards his sister, he did not want her to suffer in the way he had just seen.I believe Butler wanted the reader to see that even a powerful being like T'Gatoi felt scared.GAn says it himself on page 5, he describes the Tlic as impatient. He also states "I had seen the desperate eagerness in the way some people looked at me." The eagerness and frustration going around could have forced them to use their young as well.
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9/16/2016 11:17:23MarcusGotItThe relationship between the Terran and the Tlic is crazy. THeir relationship is parasitism because the Tlic are using the humans to be the carrier of their eggs so they can take over their body as a host. The Terran get so comfortable with the Tlic that they are seeing that it's okay for them to be carriers for them.I don't think that this is a love story because the horrific things that the Tlic do to the humans is not affectionate at all. They aren't being loving to the humans, they are just using them. It's possible to love someone or something that is dangerous but in this case, the beings aren't being loving.It gives her the lie because she doesn't want to tell Gan the real story or process behind what is actually happening. She wants Gan to feel comfortable with her so that he doesn't find out or recognize whats going on.Without the humans, the Tlic can't reproduce or carry their eggs. So they need the humans in order for that to happen. They would force us because they have no other choice if they want to reproduce.
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