This thesis examines how the physical construction of the ooloi Oankali aliens in Octavia Butler's trilogy Lilith's Brood enables the text to explore the limitations of a two-gender construct. It does so by positing the existence of other conscious organic life with a third gender outside the scope of Earth-bound organisms. The ooloi must be understood by a definition of gender that takes into consideration socially constructed and performed roles. The physical bodies of the ooloi have a "boundary-crossing" identity that is unambiguous.
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