Earthlings by Sayaka murata

Do you ever feel your life, your thoughts, your decisions, even your body is not your own? As a woman, I feel this every moment. But as a collective human, people of society; are we free?

What does it feel like to be different?
Different because of our gender, color, race, caste, religion, belief, age, nationality, status, sexual orientation, decision of choosing partner, marriage…regardless of anything- How do people, society treat anything out of the box?

TW: child sexual abuse, murder, incest, cannibalism

Earthlings is one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. And still couldn’t wrap up my head around it. This book triggered me, puzzled me, created those questions, and the end of the book; just left me in a mind-boggling situation that I can’t explain.

The book started with our protagonist Natsuki going on a summer holiday with her family. There we were introduced to her cousin Yuu. Natsuki had her stuffed toys which she said had come from another planet. Later we see how those were just her defense mechanism. Yuu thought he was an alien. Till now, all seemed like children’s innocent imaginations.

Natsuki never had any support from the women in her life. From her mother, sister to her girlfriends. Everyone misunderstood her and blamed her when she shared the abuse by her teacher. That man had ruined her childhood. So when he mysteriously murdered, it grew sympathy in others. Hypocritic and pathetic, isn’t it?

Natsuki married an asexual man. It was not directly said but both of them were uninterested in sex. Natsuki may be because of her childhood abuse. But society doesn’t like to be different, does it? 
Society was mentioned as a ‘Factory’ where we are like machines and our reproductive system is the product that we make. 

But Natsuki and her husband both denied this system. They want to break free, challenge everything that society stands for including taboos and laws.

The ending is insane. I don’t know how to explain this. It was full of chaos. But as once one of my students said, how can we judge something just because it’s different from our system?

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