Novel Analysis – Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The novel follows the story of Shori Matthews, a 53-year-old vampire with a special ability to last longer in the sun than her relative vampires due to her darker skin. Shortly after awakening, Shori meets a construction worker by the name of Wright Hamlin who helps her along the way. A human woman named Brook became another important helper and source for Shori, who in turn helped her and another young woman named Celia—a darker skinned individual like Shori, but fully human. There was also another character who had little physical presence, but still impacted throughout the story. She was middle aged woman named Theodora Harden, and she was also adored by Shori.
This story takes place in modern day Washington state. There is a sense of connection despite the fantastical elements incorporated into the story. The story takes us through the different small cities of Washington for the majority of the book, and it even shifts down southward into a small town in California. The book doesn't fail to incorporate familiar things such as the mentioning of Seattle or Los Angeles, building a fictional community nearby non-fictional areas. Octavia Butler does a good job at maintaining enough realism to make the story seem not as far-fetched as tales of magic kingdoms and beings, but creatures that could potentially exist and live among us.
The main conflict associated in the story of “Fledgling” is the young vampire Shori Matthews consistent struggle to regain the memories she lost in an accident taking place at her home in a fairly big community that was in the process of reaching newer insights. Shori goes along with broken remnants of her memory with Wright, Brook, and Celia in particular to learn about the person she was and who her family and connections were. Octavia Butler throws a lot of trial in for Shori and her friends as she tries to relearn the things she once knew. Not only does Butler display the conflicts of amnesia and mild ostracisms, Shori is also faced with the matter of huge responsibilities and decisions for herself and her future.
One approach to this analysis is going to be Campbell's Monomyth by breaking down of the story into smaller components that make up the general pattern of a story or myth. The starting point is the place of birth or home, in which the main character Shori awakes in a cave outside the ruins that used to be her home community. A call to adventure is evident when Shori feels there is a need to learn more about herself and the place she had awakened from, so she leaves the hidden town for answers. Along the way, she meets a construction worker by the name of Wright Hamlin who in turn helps her out and takes her back to his place where he sort of watches and takes care of her while she delves in to learn more about who she is. Shori crosses several threshholds, but the main one is when she visits her father's family and finds out that her...