In our smaller group discussions last class, Sami brought up this really interesting phenomenon where individuals are more likely to be empathetic and sympathetic in their everyday life if they are avid readers. According to Sami, because most readers are putting themselves into the mindsets of the characters in novel, they are better skilled at that in real interactions. Reading novels allows a person to walk in anther’s shoes, understand events from another’s perspective, and empathize with characters. This really got me thinking about the regime of the visual. I question whether a reader is more likely to empathize with characters because it is their own visualization of said characters. For example, has anyone ever been frustrated with a film adaptation of a book because its not how YOU imagined how the character would look and act like. I think Octavia Butler tricks us with this very human tendency. Many other classmates have stated that they couldn’t picture the Oankali and Ooloi. When we read descriptions of these species from Human characters, the details are a little vague. All we know is that at first glance they appear to be grotesque. After calming down the best the human characters can do is compare the species to a starfish-like creature. I believe this ambiguity is what tricks readers into allowing for more hate and violence to be done to the Oankali. Because we cannot visualize and therefore empathize with these species in the first book of the Lilith’s Brood Trilogy, we are more likely to dislike them and their decisions. This tendency, at least for me, changed in the second book from the perspective of Akon. I was more likely to care about the other species, maybe even more so than the resister human beings.