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Bloodchild | Study Guide

Octavia Butler

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Course Hero. "Bloodchild Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 Oct. 2020. Web. 3 Feb. 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. (2020, October 26). Bloodchild Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2020)



Course Hero. "Bloodchild Study Guide." October 26, 2020. Accessed February 3, 2023.


Course Hero, "Bloodchild Study Guide," October 26, 2020, accessed February 3, 2023,



Octavia Butler

Year Published



Short Story


Science Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

"Bloodchild" is told in first person by the protagonist of the story Gan. It takes place in a science fiction setting and is a coming-of-age story in which Gan grows up to maturity.


"Bloodchild" is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title "Bloodchild" refers to the eggs implanted into humans by their alien hosts the Tlics. The grubs in the eggs feed on their hosts' blood and eventually on the hosts' bodies if the grubs are not properly removed in time. In this way the grubs are "blood children." The shared bloodline and the way that alien larvae become the children of their human hosts reference the concept of blood-brothers.


This study guide for Octavia Butler's Bloodchild offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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