Themes

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 551

Regardless of biology, race, caste, and the vicissitudes of fate, liberty of the individual person is the paramount existential need. Ironically, the key virtue needed to secure personal freedom is patience, or endurance, coupled with stamina, both physical and moral. They are connected. Anyanwu's extraordinary physiology is the basis of her patience and moral independence. Another theme is that fertility is important to the survival of species at the highest level of intellectual potential. Super species must be able to breed or they are not significant in a biosphere. Another theme is that religion is conservative and stabilizing, but that the evolution and progress of species requires that blasphemy and even obscenity be just as constantly present, because they are the agents of mutation and essential change which are inexorable in species and culture as the process that insures adaptation and survival. Anyanwu calls Doro an "obscenity"; that is he breaks all rules — sexual, racial and religious. He violates her, even though she herself is an extraordinary freak of the human species. Another meaning of the story is touched if the relationship of Anyanwu and Doro in Wild Seed is seen as the Nazi/ Jewish Holocaust made personal. Doro's enterprise is baldly and unapologetically eugenic. He seeks only the most powerful species, and only the most perfect specimens of that powerful species. He is a slaver of slavers. He owns everyone, literally. He allows them to live only so long as they are useful to him. Most accept his tyranny willingly and slavishly. Some even love him. Anyanwu, however, capitulates in anger.

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The story also implies that ultimate love is a paradox. It nourishes, as does Anyanwu who is wife, mother, healer, shaman, and scapegoat. It devours and kills, as does Doro who must do so to survive. Nevertheless, in the epic history of species there are no barriers to love. It transcends sex, race, culture, history, pain and pleasure, and, mysteriously, even death. In the maleness of Doro humanity is anciently ruthless, voracious, homicidal — herding and driving people. It makes life valuable by its threat. It is a...

(The entire section contains 551 words.)

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