Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Final Project Proposal

Jonathan Hranek
Dr. Adam Johns
English Composition 0200
19 November 2014

Argument – I am going to argue that hierarchies are a natural part of a civilization in order to function correctly. Simply having different jobs for the various sections of a culture provides the most basic structure to set up a hierarchy. Due to the Oankali’s intelligence, they overlook the fact that they have a basic hierarchical structure, which they argue to be the cause of the downfall of the human race. This shows their hypocrisy when it comes to their evaluations on the differences between humanity’s characteristics and those of the Oankali race.

Possible Counterargument - the Oankali do not have a hierarchical structure for various reasons. I hope dissuade and/or close that argument through this essay. There are multiple other arguments that could come up from my point of view because what I am arguing is not typical for this book. I am going against the grain, one could say, since it says in the book that the Oankali are supposedly not hierarchically structured, but I am arguing for the opposite.

I plan on keeping most of my second revision because it fits nicely with my theme that I am arguing for right now. However, deciding what to cut will be more difficult. I foresee myself changing the sentences I had already had to fit my thesis instead of completely deleting them. I intend to add in some criticism (if possible) about hierarchies and their effects on societies. Maybe even arguments about what they are derived from and how they help to make a functioning group of peoples. I may even include some background information on the author to see if her viewpoints or beliefs have any affect on what the Oankali think about humanity (like if she is speaking her thoughts through the Oankali).
Why we should care – we should care because hierarchies are the sole basis upon which humans can somewhat judge how they are doing, where they want to go, and how they are planning to get to that point of the social ladder.

Outline -
What hierarchies do in society
·      Sources to help with this
Beginning hypocrisy with the Oankali
·      Sources to help with this
Information about author to support my argument
*Depending on how much/what kind of information I find will determine a clearer picture as to where I will place the resulting paragraphs and what they will specifically say.

Bibliography -
Butler, Octavia E. Lilith's Brood. New York: Aspect/Warner, 2000. Print.
·      I am going to use this source for the main reasons as to why the Oankali have a hierarchical structure.
Johns, J. Adam. "Becoming Medusa: Octavia Butler's "Lilith's Brood" and Sociobiology." Science Fiction Studies 37.3 (2010): 382-400. JSTOR. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <>.
·      I will use this source to further support my thesis.

1 comment:

  1. This is briefly explained, and not much different from your revision, so I only have a little to add. Here's my big thing: we need to be very clear about what we mean about "hierarchy", and what the Oankali mean about "hierarchy." I think your approach is very reasonable, but you need to read all three novels carefully and think about how hierarchies work in them. The Oankali claim to be non-hierarchical. Are they correct, are they mistaken, or do we need to very carefully parse our terminology, because they might be either anti-hierarchical or not depending on how, precisely, we understand the term? That was the greatest weakness in your revision - that you were imprecise and insufficiently detailed when dealing with the most challenging part of the material.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.