This semester in general has been something that I feel has been fairly tough on everyone. The general stress of a global pandemic, along side the weight of school work and an actual occupation has been something that I have had to adjust to over the past few months. This general weight is something that I feel has been bringing and binding people together for quite some time now; similar struggles can bring people together.
Our course epigraphs have laid out a map of sorts for how one could view their own growth. Starting with habit and how important it is to become accustomed with life and Butler iterates that ” habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent.” Once someone learns how to use habit to their advantage, Butler’s quote from Dawn “Learn and Run!” seems to come into play in this map. Once you begin using habits to improve your growth, you have to take these ideas and run with them, in a sense. What you can learn from these growth habits you develop is something that could take you very far. And finally with these bases in hand, Butler’s quote from Imago comes into play “I chose a spot near the river. There I prepared the seed to go into the ground. I gave it a thick, nutritious coating, then brought it out of my body through my right sensory hand. I planted it deep in the rich soil of the riverbank. Seconds after I had expelled it, I felt it begin the tiny positioning movements of independent life.” With habit and the foundations of progress, can come growth. I feel like all the course epigraphs can play into one another over the course of the semester and they can easily play into Lilith’s own growth in Octavia Butler’s novel Lilith’s Brood.
When Lilith has her final awakening within the small room she had become accustomed to, she meets Jdahya, an Oankali who had been observing her and taking care of her while she was asleep. At first she could not even stand the sight of him, and even despite her long isolation she “longed to be rid of him”(20). But eventually over time she gained the confidence to be comfortable around him. Having him around her almost felt like a habit, which is something that led to her own growth of being comfortable (as comfortable as she could be) with the Oankali.
Lilith slowly began realizing that knowledge was her only weapon of sorts if she were to survive with the Oankali. Once she was comfortable among Jdahya’s family, they assigned her to Nikanj- a young Ooloi who had to learn about human culture from Lilith. Along with this, Nikanj would teach her all about the Oankali culture as well. Once she had become accustomed to the language and the culture, she was given more freedom to roam around the ship as she pleased. This knowledge gave her a way to “run” of sorts with new freedoms.
As she gained respect and trust of the Oankali, she was given more responsibilities. With her knowledge of the Oankali she was to awaken other humans and “prepare them to be the Oankali’s new trade partners”(117). Lilith is planting the seeds in these newly awakened humans of how to live with the Oankali, and how to survive among them. She did not really want this responsibility, but she knew that she had to continue the education of the gene trade with the newly awakened humans for everyone’s safety.
Our course epigraphs are something that ran through this novel thus far, and Lilith definitely follows the map of sorts. These epigraphs can also run deep within our own lives, which I think is something that brings us all together.
I know for myself, these epigraphs have certainly been a map for my growth. I found myself struggling to fall into good habits in this semester; whether it was because the transition has been tough or online classes are a bit odd. Everything seemed to pile on at once and I felt myself falling into bad habits. Looking back at the course epigraphs helped me realize that in order to progress my own growth, education and self wise, I needed to fall into good habits.
Once I began time managing better with my school work and job, it instinctively became a habit of sorts to just work harder on my own education within this course. With this, I have learned so much more than I would have, had I been continuing the habits I had beforehand. I have been taking this knowledge and using it with all my other posts that I have been crafting in the course.
I feel like the push to do better planted a seed of sorts in my growth, and it has been working ever since. These epigraphs crafted an easy road map for growth in all aspects, and I can’t wait to find out where it takes Lilith in her endeavors.