Interdependence & Power Dynamics in “Bloodchild”

Following my initial reading of the story “Bloodchild”, I was shocked, and couldn’t quite wrap my head around the true “point”, or a true theme, within the story. I noted the peculiarity of the concept of a male pregnancy, and the power dynamic between the Tlic and the Terrans.

Interdependence was one of the biggest underlying themes that I took away from this story. The general interactions between the Tlic and the Terrans, as well as the dependence of the Tlic depending on the Terrans for hosting their spawns and the Terrans depending on the Tlic for governance and nutrients and extended longevity from Tlic eggs, all contribute to the interdependent society that they live in. Although some may argue that the Tlic are abusing their power and are harmfully using the Terrans to host their young, there is no doubt that there are things given and taken from both parties.

Regarding the power dynamics within the story, the idea that the Tlic are indeed receiving more from the Terrans than they are giving is a concept worth exploring. Personally, I feel that you could make an argument for either side, as there are both pros and cons to their societal relationship. The image of a young boy, Bram Lomas, in a state of unconciousness and in immense pain, hurts the reputation of the Tlic and displays them in a harmful, negative light. Gan is then pressured to slaughter an animal, something he has never done before, in order to save a life that was not his responsibility to save. On the opposing side, the Terrans consume the eggs provided for them by the Tlic in order to receive luxeries such as longevity and a youthful appearance.

In summary, “Bloodchild” captures an interdependent society, whether it was truly equal or not. The varying power dynamics shown throughout the story contribute to characterization and display the interesting differences in this society versus the society we live in today.

4 thoughts on “Interdependence & Power Dynamics in “Bloodchild”


    I totally agree with you Sydney. I see what you mean about the interdependence between the Tlic’s and the Terrans in the society. The first time I read Bloodchild I took it to be a story about the power that the Tlic’s hold over the Terrans; but after further analysis, both in class and on my own time, I also noticed the interdependence that is very present in the society.
    I additionally love how you acknowledged the fact that there are arguments to both sides of the power relationships between the Tlic’s and the Terrans. Overall, I liked the points you made and you make it clear that this story can be analyzed very deeply which makes it so encapsulating.


  2. madelstein07

    I completely agree with this interpretation of the story and how it displays interdependence. I especially agree with you on your analysis of the effect Bram Lomas’ harmful dissection leaves on the readers. After that part of the story, I was left feeling unsettled and my assumptions about the Tlics was made clear. That scene very clearly allowed us to understand their world more and the extent to the harm and suffering Tlics caused. This also adds to the underlying theme of interdependence that you mentioned because although this terrible this was happening to Bram, it had to happen, otherwise he would be eaten from the inside out and die. He is relying on the Tlics to allow him to survive, and the Tlics are relying on people like Bram to produce more offspring. In total, your argument and take on the story is very clear and interesting.


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