Xenogenesis Quotes
by Octavia Butler

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Quotes

The Xenogenesis Triology is a group of three novels by science fiction and fantasy author Octavia Butler. The three titles in the Lilith's Brood trilogy (as it is also known) are entitled Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago. As the title Lilith's Brood suggests—Lilith being the name of Adam's second wife in the Bible—the story explores a world where notions of sexual domination and patriarchy are questioned. This kind of world becomes possible after the earth's population is decimated in a cataclysmic war. The character Lilith has survived the destruction and has been brought to an alien planet whose inhabitants want to help save humanity but have certain conditions that need to be met.

The story explores notions of intersectionality and challenges assumptions about race, gender, and social dominance. Often the characters act as mouthpieces for ideological points, such as this one:

Intelligence is relatively new to life on Earth, but your hierarchical tendencies are ancient.

This quote reflects the attitude that the desire for hierarchy is an inherent quality humans possess and that even having humanity decimated by a cataclysm, the chance to "start over," might not remove that tendency. The implication is that humanity is forever doomed to be incapable of overcoming its worst tendencies, including patriarchy, enslavement, and exploitation of its fellow humans.