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Free Will

November 9, 2009

This post may contain slight spoilers for those that have

not read The Fledgling by Octavia Butler. It will not ruin

the book, it just has some info you find out later in the book.


I hope some of you still read this…

I wrote my review for The Fledgling by Octavia Butler recently and wanted to spend a little more time discussing one of the issues in the book. This book touches on many things; race, sexuality, free will and more. I was talking with Shane a little about the free will aspect of the book and wonder how many would choose what he would.

In the book, the vampires have a venom that passes to the human during feeding. This causes intense pleasure for the human. However, it allows the vampire to control the human. After multiple feedings, the human becomes addicted to the venom and would die without the vampire feeding on them regularly. This sounds terrible. BUT it is a symbiosis. The vampires need the humans and most of them give the human a choice whether they want that life or not. The humans get a longer life (up to 200 years) and no sickness. They are more financially supported and belong to a community. They are loved by their vampire and allowed to mate/love a human as well if they so chose.

So I ask: If you could choose to live for much longer without fear of sickness, be loved, be given insane amounts of pleasure, be able to do whatever career you want, still visit your family (until your non-aging becomes an issue), and live within this community… would you do so knowing that someone else could, if they wanted to, control you, and that you would need them to survive?

I honestly don’t know. Part of me thinks it would be a fun and interesting life. The other part doesn’t know that I could handle someone telling me to do something and me having NO choice. Shane said NO WAY would he choose that life.

What would you choose?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aманда permalink
    November 9, 2009 11:45 am

    It would be nice to live longer and not be sick, etc. But I definitely wouldn’t want to be dependent on anyone else in order to survive. I vote no.

  2. Rachie X permalink
    November 9, 2009 6:31 pm

    I agree with Amanda. I have always been a massive vampire ficiton lover since I was young so I have thought about the vampire issue a lot.. that, if given the choice, would I chose immortality and all its perks over a normal human life? It always had me in circles because yes immortality would be great, imagine living forever… being able to travel the world, see endless plays, read books, listen to music… enjoy all the wonderful things this world has to offer – even if it is at night – forever. BUT I don’t think vampires have much free will either. They are dependant on blood to survive. In most stories they can not control themselves when they need to feed… so where is the free will in that?

    In this case, with the humans being controlled by vampires they don’t have free will but neither do vampires that are controlled by bloodlust.

    So I was always torn. Ultimately I would come back to “no”, it would not be good based on the sole reason that you would have to watch your family, friends and those you love grown old and die. That would be so very sad. Don’t get me wrong, being immortal would be great, but only if you could share it with those you love. Otherwise if that couldn’t be, I would prefer to continue the life journey with my family.

    Very interesting question though… living a longer, healthy, finanically stable life would be great even as a human but again you would lose a lot of people along the way and forever be at the beck and call of someone else.. hmm I have a lot to think about.. lol

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