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The Host

The Host

by Stephenie Meyer

Foreignness and The Other Theme

You can't get much more foreign than an alien species taking over the planet. The creepy thing about these aliens, however, is how much like us they are. They take our bodies and pretend to be us, but they don't get it exactly right. It's like a real-life uncanny valley. The aliens are experiencing culture shock, too. As an outsider, Wanderer sees us through a slightly different perspective. She must ask herself, Who are these crazy humans? Why are they so violent and weird? And why do I love them and their Cheetos much?

Questions About Foreignness and The Other

  1. What elements of the human experience that we take for granted are completely foreign to Wanderer?
  2. What aspects of the souls' lifestyle are foreign to the humans? (Killing humans doesn't count. Humans kind of pioneered killing our own species.)
  3. How is the new alien world different from our own present-day world?
  4. Jeb says to Wanda that she'll always be a parasite. Is this true, or does he still just see her as an "other"?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

As an alien, Wanderer has a difficult time separating humans from animals, often seeing the animal traits in us that we have a tendency to ignore.

The souls' peaceful existence is so different from our own chaotic, often violent one that their universal harmony makes them seem very foreign and creepy.

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