The Evening and the Morning and the Night, Octavia E. Butler

January 29, 2010 scitina

The story The Evening and the Morning and the Night, written by Octavia E. Butler tells of a disease, Duryea-Gode disease(DGD) caused by the aftermath of consuming  a cancer-curing drug. The main character in the story, a young girl Lynn, had a rare case of both her parents being victims of this disease. This girl as well as society saw her case as inevitable and unavoidable that she too would begin to drift and begin her self-mutilation. After the death of both her parents, she attends college and eventually moves in with four other DGD students. Comparing this girl and her interaction with the other students and her eventual interaction with the other female characters in the story explains the habits and traits of this DGD infected girl.

Shortly after living within the house of DGD students, Lynn has adopted the term “house mother” because she is constantly reminding the other students to do their house chores and the other students don’t seem to mind her and always comply. Later in the story the reader, as well as Lynn, is told that she possesses an odd scent that is a pheromone. This scent influences others, and although Lynn was unaware of it, she begins to think that things in the past would make sense if she did have this. The relationship that slightly formed in acquiring this knowledge was with a nurse at Dilg, named Beatrice. Beactrice describes to Lynn how they are very similar and quite rare. Lynn suddenly realizes that she is saying is true because she had a sudden unattraction and dislike for her when they first met for no clear reason. The relationships portrayed within this story are interesting because they force us to view the characters in individual viewpoints.

  After Beatrice reveals these things to Lynn and says she will always have a job waiting at Dilg, Lynn reluctantly says she will probably eventually join with them. Her decision shows the reader the hardships and responsibility thrust upon functioning people with DGD. It is like if you haven’t torn yourself apart yet, you must contribute to their society and well-being for the future as well as care for those people who have already drifted. Lastly, when Lynn meets Alan’s mother, she is at first terrified other but the longer they stand there and interact with her Lynn allows her to touch her face and she becomes more comfortable. Lynn already is becoming accustomed to the routines and services she will most likely be apart of in the future. We are left at the end with the question of, If Alan will follow and contribute on their future obligations to lesser off DGDs. From evidence throughout the story I can predict that as long as he is a functioning DGD he will give as much as possible to the improvement of their society.


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