Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark: A Posthumanist Reading

Manoj Kumar Behera

PhD candidate at the Department of English, Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar and Lecturer in English, Kosala Mahavidyalaya, Kosala, Angul, Odisha, India. Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.12

Received September 14, 2016; Revised April 5, 2017; Accepted April 11, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


This paper explores the possibility of posthuman subjects only in kinship and connectedness. By analyzing few characters from Butler’s novel Clay’s Ark I shall explore the continuous human effort that marginalizes non-humans in our world. I will also attempt to find out how few characters deny crossing species boundaries to remain in a state of pure humans. I use discourses like Animal studies and Posthumsnism to demonstrate that life exists in connection, kinship and symbiosis. We can find human qualities in animals and the animal qualities in humans. In the conclusion I suggest that we are always in a process of becoming and every subject needs to accept co-evolution, connectedness instead of autonomous identity in order to enter into a posthuman world.

Keywords: Animal studies, posthumanism, symbiosis, kinship, co-evolution, hybrid, enhancement.

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