Quotes from Dawn

Octavia E. Butler ·  248 pages

Rating: (18.7K votes)


“You have a mismatched pair of genetic characteristics. Either alone would have been useful, would have aided the survival of your species. But the two together are lethal. It was only a matter of time before they destroyed you."

[...]

Jdahya made a rustling noise that could have been a sigh, but that did not seem to comer from his mouth or throat. "You are intelligent," he said. "That's the newer of the two characteristics, and the one you might have put to work to save yourselves. You are potentially one of the most intelligent species we've found, though your focus is different from ours. Still, you had a good start in the life sciences, and even in genetics."

"What's the second characteristic?"

"You are hierarchical. That's the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It's a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it as problem, but took pride in it or din not notice it at all..." The rattling sounded again.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Yes,” he said, “intelligence does enable you to deny facts you dislike. But your denial doesn’t matter.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Your people contain incredible potential, but they die without using much of it.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“A partner must be biologically interesting, attractive to us, and you are fascinating. You are horror and beauty in rare combination. In a very real way, you've captured us, and we can't escape. But you're more than only the composition and the workings of your bodies. You are your personalities, your cultures.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Human beings are more alike than different—damn sure more alike than we like to admit. I wonder if the same thing wouldn’t have happened eventually, no matter which two cultures gained the ability to wipe one another out along with the rest of the world.” Lilith”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn



“There was no real comfort in being alone with her thoughts, her memories, but somehow the illusion of freedom lessened her despair.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Yes,” he said, “intelligence does enable you to deny facts you dislike.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Your body said one thing. Your words said another.” It moved a sensory arm to the back of his neck, looping one coil loosely around his neck. “This is the position,” it said. “I’ll stop now if you like.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“She had learned to keep her sanity by accepting things as she found them, adapting herself to new circumstances by putting aside the old ones whose memories might overwhelm her. She”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Let go of me.” It smoothed its tentacles again. “Be grateful, Joe. I’m not going to let go of you.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn



“You are hierarchical. That’s the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It’s a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it as a problem, but took pride in it or did not notice it at all …” The rattling sounded again. “That was like ignoring cancer. I think your people did not realize what a dangerous thing they were doing.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“What is it?” she asked. “Flesh. More like mine than like yours. Different from mine, too, though. It’s … the ship.” “You’re kidding. Your ship is alive?”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“First learning, then proving I’d learned. Knowing and using the knowledge aren’t the same thing.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Curt Loehr, the Oankali said, needed people to look after. People stabilized him, gave him purpose. Without them, he might have been a criminal—or dead.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Down on Earth,” she said carefully, “there are no people left to draw lines on maps and say which sides of those lines are the right sides. There is no government left. No human government, anyway.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn



“I can’t unfind you,” he said.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“We do what we do, Lilith.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


“Human beings are more alike than different—damn sure more alike than we like to admit. I wonder if the same thing wouldn’t have happened eventually, no matter which two cultures gained the ability to wipe one another out along with the rest of the world.”
― Octavia E. Butler, quote from Dawn


About the author

Octavia E. Butler
Born place: in Pasadena, California, The United States
Born date June 22, 1947
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