CLOSE READING

“The Matter of Seggri” is a novelette depicting a different world that has very severe gender segregation and discrimination. It is told from the perspective of an alien visiting the planet and describing the world he sees. In the excerpt used for close reading the alien is describing the rough life men have in society, particularly their lack of choices in life.

The narrator shows her lack of respect for the new world’s way of life through her word choice. She describes what the men are allowed to do as “fuckeries” and says they competing for “number of fucks”. This language is obviously not respectful of what they believe is important and what is meaningful to their society, even if their society is wrong.  This language is also effective in showing just how trivial the lives of men are.  

She also goes on to use the repetition of negatives, “Nothing else. No options. No trades. No skills of making. No travel unless they play in the big games. They aren’t allowed into the colleges to gain any kind of freedom of mind”. This repetition just engrains the fact that men are essentially worthless in this society. The answer to everything for these men is no.

The society also believes men should be sheltered from education so they can be the best physically for the sport and for reproduction. This is a clear comparison to earth’s societies that were completely the opposite, forcing women to stay inside because they needed to be home makers and care for the family.

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