The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

More than Human is an expanded version of “Baby Is Three,” a novella published in Galaxy in 1952. The novella forms the central part of the novel, which deals with the joining of six people to form a new form of humanity, Homo gestalt.

The first section of the novel, “The Fabulous Idiot,” focuses on Lone, a mentally impaired man described as purely animal, who has parapsychic powers. Alicia and Evelyn Kew are sisters whose unconventional upbringing has kept Evelyn in a state of innocence. Evelyn’s psychic plea, “touch me,” is answered by Lone, but their merging is interrupted by her father, who kills Evelyn and beats Lone. Emotionally awakened and physically wounded, Lone is taken in by the Prodds, a farm family whose care makes him human for the first time.

When Mrs. Prodd becomes pregnant, Lone leaves the farm to live in a cave he constructs in the woods. There he is joined by Janie, a precocious five-year-old with telekinetic abilities, and Bonnie and Beanie, African American twin toddlers who are able to teleport. Mrs. Prodd dies in childbirth, and her baby is born with Down’s syndrome. Lone brings the Prodd child, whom he christens “Baby,” back to the cave, to become the computerlike repository of information for the new organism. Together, the four children and Lone function as a single being, Homo gestalt. To help the grieving Mr. Prodd, Lone and the children construct an...

(The entire section is 550 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

More Than Human began as a long story, "Baby Is Three" (1952), which Sturgeon later expanded to novel length by including two...

(The entire section is 229 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

More Than Human is a novel of ideas, emphasizing ethical matters that are common to the human condition. Even so, the...

(The entire section is 305 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Theodore Sturgeon's masterpiece is a novel about children and childhood. On one level it can be read as a story of child abuse. Nearly all...

(The entire section is 302 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

One can look in several directions for precedents or possible sources for More Than Human. A number of science fiction novels, most...

(The entire section is 120 words.)