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I’m a little over half-way through reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It is an addictive read. I also read the Twilight Saga and the two are like night and day. Twilight is all running around causing and preventing mayhem with teenage werewolves and ageless, sparkling vampires. The Host is much more serious in tone although my husband will tell you I still laugh out loud while reading it. I’ve been told my writing (novel not blog) is too heavy and I need to work on my comic relief. This is good research.
What I find most interesting about the book is the relationships. The relationship between Melanie and her invading parasite Wanderer is tense but when they aren’t blocking each other out and fighting each other they work together to attain common goals, like survival, and almost seem friendly. Alliances are tested and the very definition of what it means to be human is called into question. Wanderer, or Wanda as she is later nicknamed, learns that not all humans are violent, scary, and destructive but can show a great deal of compassion and understanding. The humans around her are torn. Some believe she is the enemy and needs to be eliminated for the good of the surviving humans and some believe she is a harmless outcast of her kind and should be treated with the same respect as the rest of the community albeit more supervision.
When fear and hardship push us to the brink what will we become, kind or cruel? Are we human simply because we were born in these bodies on this planet? Is it our sentience? Or conscience? When we lower our morals to fight an overpowering enemy what are we fighting for if we lose who we are? If we stoop down to our enemy’s level how are we better than them?
How many of us would risk our lives to save the life of someone who wants us dead? Wanda, holding to her own set of morals could arguably be more human in that respect then most of us. What makes us human? What keeps us human? Please discuss.