More Than Human Themes

Themes

On the surface at least, More Than Human embodies some common themes of science fiction: the misfit mutants, superior to and alienated from normal human society; the next stage of human evolution viewed as the development of a higher consciousness linking all humanity; the impact on society of psychic powers. Yet, while Sturgeon's speculations on all these matters are in themselves quite interesting and entertaining, the heart of the novel lies elsewhere; all the science fictional apparatus merely provides him with a set of metaphors that express his abiding concern with the themes of alienation and love.

As several critics have pointed out, More Than Human, like many other science fiction stories, is at a deep level a wishfulfillment fantasy of power. The scorned and neglected children possess remarkable powers. Lone, the hapless idiot, can look into a man's eyes and wordlessly order him to commit suicide; Janie, the hated daughter of an unfaithful wife, is a telekineticist; Beanie and Bonnie, black twins with speech impediments, are teleports; Baby, a Mongoloid child, is a computer of limitless power; and Gerry, the bitter runaway from a Dickensian orphanage, combines Lone's powers with a keen and angry intelligence. And their individual powers are only the beginning, for together they comprise a single entity, "Homo Gestalt," the apparent beginning of a new species. Perhaps the most frightening moment of the novel occurs when Gerry...

(The entire section is 489 words.)