Observation Vs. Reality or Hierarchies Lead to War/Conflict

For my third essay I am stuck between two different topic ideas and I don’t know which to pick. The first topic I have in mind is to talk about the idea of observation vs. reality. The second topic is discussing how hierarchies lead to conflicts and eventually war.

In the first topic I would use The Matter of Seggri in relation to Dawn.  to discuss how the way things you can learn by observation do not always equate to the things that are happening in reality. In this paper I’d try to use The Matter of Seggri in order to prove that observation does not equal reality, and that the only way to understand another group is to become a part of that group. One that is established I’d switch the subject over to Dawn. As we have discussed in class, the Oankali believe that they understand humans even though the only things they really have to go by are their observations of humans. This proven wrong several times throughout the story; the more obvious example being the last section we read with Lilith, Joseph, and Nikanj.

In the second topic I am thinking about I would use Dawn to show how hierarchies lead to conflict. Here I would start by talking about the earlier part of the book, where the Oankai are telling Lilith about the two genes that brought their own destruction. A hierarchy in itself creates a need to be at the top. It is that need to be at the top that creates conflict. In the novel the would is destroyed by nuclear war between the United States and the U.S.S.R. which were two competing hierarchies. That need to be “at the top of the food chain” is also seen in the nursery. Even though Lilith is indeed at the top of the hierarchy (she has all the power) there is still a power struggle that is created by others in the room. Thereby making the argument that hierarchies create conflict.


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