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Stephenie Meyer is mostly known about her best-selling saga, The Twilight. She founded her fame with the publication of The Twilight in 2005, and the sequels came year by year. She is also the one who created the world of The Host that had been made into a movie just recently. (“Bio”) There are many similarities between her works, however, The Host is science-fiction and deals with more serious questions then a love triangle. This paper will focus on the theme of “becoming human” in the novel. The basic story of the book is that the body-snatcher aliens called souls took over the Earth. The reader get to know the story of Melanie Stryder, who was one of the rebels, but eventually her body was taken as well. However, she refuses to fade away, stays in the body. The alien called Wanderer/Wanda and Melanie gradually become friends and together find the base of the rebels. Most part of the rest of the story is about how the small community of rebels accepts Wanda, till she becomes one of them. The way Wanda loses his alien features and becomes more and more human can be followed through the novel. Wanda’s transformation is mainly showed in the novel through her actions. There are a number of these that makes the reader see her as human, and makes the people in the novel consider her as human. The first one of these is what basically starts the story, namely that she goes to find Melanie’s family. If she wanted she could have resisted Melanie’s will, but she did not. Wanda probably had an idea what would wait for her among the escaped people, but she was driven by the need to see Jamie and Jared. Even though she knew that they cannot possibly like her or accept her at all, she longed for their love, which is a very human feature. But it is not only the longing for love, but Wanda does love others, like Jared or Jamie. When Ian and Kyle tries to attack her in her cell, she is more concerned about Jared (who was her guard at that point) than herself (Meyer 131). It is also partly because of Melanie, but just
but keep those that the body has. She risks her own live for one single person. Melanie and Wanda figured out that Wanda also likes Jared. It was not the body.before the attack. but herself.” (Meyer 127) Wanda feels this way towards Jamie (Melanie’s brother). that it is only love towards a friend. That is why people who were a couple as humans. As she turns out to be reliable. at one point she even puts this feeling in words: „I wanted to be sure that he was really here. One thing that also proves that Wanda became human is that she falls in love with Ian. even when they are taken by souls. This way the mother does not exist anymore as a whole entity after giving birth. Another kind of love unusual for souls the love mothers feel. which is described by Melanie as “irrational … too many emotions involved. Wanda gets to feel this love. they see a couple (both of them souls) with a small human child.” (129) This feeling also seems to spread on the Earth. That is very unusual for a soul. She basically becomes a full and precious member of the group. Wanda explains that giving birth is different for her species. The Melanie’s body obviously loves Jared. the group decides that she can go out more often in the future and help to get supplies. people start to talk to her. although it turns out later. she feels the same towards Ian. she tells stories about her previous lives and basically becomes friends with the members of the group. because new souls are born from the million cells of a “mother soul”. really safe–that they were feeding him and caring for him the way Melanie never could again. . when people go into the city to get some supplies. stay a couple. One day. because they did not want to give the child up (447). Wanda gradually becomes part of the community. When Jamie’s leg is seriously infected. mother to no one. The way I. because it is implied that they do not have their own feelings. she goes for alien medicine. and when Wanda is put into another body. wanted to care for him.
The leader of the other group puts it into words. she comes up with the cover story that Kyle did not attack her. they look at her as there is nothing special about her. the people also learnt something: acceptance. Ian’s brother Kyle wants to kill Wanda. They greet each other. but this time she wants to sacrifice herself for a friend. everybody whom she loves is dead. Taking mercy is also a very human trait. because it is not a normal life either for Melanie or her. regardless of their being human or alien. so it would be the perfect opportunity for Wanda to get rid of one of her enemies (as Kyle is the strongest opponent of Wanda staying with them).” (519) He talks about him as one would just talk about a normal human being. Wanda was willing to risk her live previously. Even later. It is only the two of them. In the world taken by aliens people moved away from the traditional human values. It is partly because Wanda belongs to them. no one can see or hear them. They also become more humanistic so to say. none of them mention the presence of an alien for a while. Since they met Wanda. and as they fight Kyle almost slips into the river. and as they speak. when she requests that after removing her from Melanie’s body. just accidentally slipped to save him from the anger of the others. and we don't take kindly to it when people try to kill him. she needs to leave Melanie’s body. It seems that through the process of Wanda becoming human. When introducing the present members of the group. However. He's one of our family. It is the same with the other group who has ‘Burns’. Wanda and her friends meet another group. which means certain death. they . why and how Burns managed to “go native” (Meyer 519): “He's my best friend – saved my life a hundred times. The thing that probably makes Wanda the most human. She said that she could not stand the idea that when she would arrive to another planet. who has a soul with them. Jared just list everybody. However. she petties him and saves him.At some point. they should bury her next to her friend. At the end of the novel. Wes.
have become closer to that humanity they had before the invasion. In conclusion. our contours. Wanda gradually develops from an alien to a human being as she starts to act and feel like a human. and it was not only because Wanda felt Melanie’s feelings. Even though the Seeker is in the same situation as Wanda and Melanie. that is that the original soul stayed in the body. However. Stephenie Meyer shows the steps of becoming human. At some point of the novel. so unhuman. Wanda mentions that the Seeker is very different from the other souls as well. she behaves completely differently. the main difference between the Seeker and Wanda is the way they behave. she previously had another name. but their deadly enemy. so we have nothing to measure them with. While Wanda learned a value system that there would be a limit beyond which she would not go. the Seeker was impossible to like (55). She does not became either a human. to allow us to see our limits.The Anthropology of Science Fiction. The Seeker becomes obsessed with catching Wanda and would do anything for it. Many fundamental qualities of spirit/mind appear to exist only in us. according to the book Aliens . Although souls do not hate. Wanderer. While Wanda got a human name. getting in connection with the alien can result in “man interacting with the alien to the point of altering his own shape in the process. the other soul is always mentioned with the descriptive name. Their name implies this difference as well. our connections. and she is the “most confrontational” (Meyer 54) she had ever met.” (Csicsery-Ronay 5) This comparison is also present in this case. nor a friend of human. This makes . Seeker. As Istvan Csicsery-Ronay says “[a]liens are necessary because the human species is alone. The lack that creates them is an Other to whom we can compare ourselves. but mostly because the Seeker was so alien.” (8) The humanization of Wanda can be contrasted by the behavior of the Seeker. This phenomenon is not unique.
This transformation seems even more emphasized compared with the behavior of the Seeker. who is completely alien in terms of feelings and moral codes.the group to accept her and treat her as a normal person who is just part of the group. .
Istvan. and Eric S. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Souther Illinois UP.d.2 (2007): 1-23. Aliens ." The Official Website of Stephenie Meyer.The Anthropology of Science Fiction. Rabkin. Web.. Jr. "Some Things We Know About Aliens.p. Slusser. . Print. eds.. Print. George E. 2013. N. Csicsery-Ronay. 1987." The Yearbook of English Studies 37. n.Works Cited "Bio. 27 Mar.
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