History WhatMeasureIsANonHuman / Literature

11th Sep '16 9:39:10 PM PaulA
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* A major running theme of the later books of OrsonScottCard's first ''[[Literature/EndersGame Ender]]'' series (''Speaker for the Dead'', ''Xenocide'', ''Children of the Mind''), where aliens (human and non-) are rated based on how alike to oneself they are. It is acceptable - or at least a necessary evil - to kill aliens that are hostile and are impossible to communicate with, or that are possible to communicate with but so different in mindset that communication is essentially futile (lumped together under the term "varelse"). Non-human aliens that can be communicated with and peacefully coexisted with are termed "ramen." Perhaps most important to this scale is that these values are relative to the evaluator's own understanding of the alien: that is, once someone understands how to communicate with an alien, they instantly switch from varelse to ramen. Any alien species in the "varelse" category is a deficiency of understanding of the human classifying them as such. As such, some aliens encountered move from varelse to ramen over the course of one or more books, usually not without a significant degree of bloodshed before understanding by both sides is attained.

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* A major running theme of the later books of OrsonScottCard's Creator/OrsonScottCard's first ''[[Literature/EndersGame Ender]]'' series (''Speaker for the Dead'', ''Xenocide'', ''Children of the Mind''), (''Literature/SpeakerForTheDead'', ''Literature/{{Xenocide}}'', ''Literature/ChildrenOfTheMind''), where aliens (human and non-) are rated based on how alike to oneself they are. It is acceptable - or at least a necessary evil - to kill aliens that are hostile and are impossible to communicate with, or that are possible to communicate with but so different in mindset that communication is essentially futile (lumped together under the term "varelse"). Non-human aliens that can be communicated with and peacefully coexisted with are termed "ramen." Perhaps most important to this scale is that these values are relative to the evaluator's own understanding of the alien: that is, once someone understands how to communicate with an alien, they instantly switch from varelse to ramen. Any alien species in the "varelse" category is a deficiency of understanding of the human classifying them as such. As such, some aliens encountered move from varelse to ramen over the course of one or more books, usually not without a significant degree of bloodshed before understanding by both sides is attained.
5th Sep '16 11:21:35 AM ReaderAt2046
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* {{Discussed}} in the ''Literature/DragonKeeperChronicles''. The heroes initially have no problem with exterminating the quiss migrations precisely ''because'' they are non-sapient beasts and cannot be negotiated with. When the heroes discover a strain of quiss modified by a MadScientist villain to have sapience, they specifically declare that ''those'' quiss are not to be wiped out without at least giving them the option to go back to the oceans where they belong. (Many of the heroes are telepaths, so they can tell whether a quiss swarm contains any of the sapient variety before wiping it out.)
17th Aug '16 12:21:05 AM wmyork
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* Vigorously inverted in ''Literature/TheGirlWithAllTheGifts'', which primarily revolves around whether the protagonist, a little girl named Melanie, is [[spoiler:an inhuman zombie monster to be experimented on or killed, or actually more human than the remaining uninfected humans]].
8th Jun '16 9:25:56 PM PeverellForever
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* Sydney Halgren ''Literature/FatesRoad'' barely thinks twice when she's asked to create a spell that will wipe out every single magical creature in existence. She only begins to worry when she finds out it'll also kill the sorcerers.
29th May '16 4:03:10 PM ading
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* Literature/WetGoddess: One of, if not the most significant theme in the novel.

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* Literature/WetGoddess: ''Literature/WetGoddess'': One of, if not the most significant theme in the novel.


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* Averted by Meursault in ''Literature/TheStranger'', who considers the life of Salamano's completely non-anthropomorphic dog to be worth exactly as much as that of a human. Meursault sees all deaths, be they animal, human, or [[spoiler:his own]], in the same way: they're unfortunate, and he prefers to delay them as much as possible, but they've got to happen sooner or later, so why bother getting upset about it?
14th Jan '16 8:12:01 AM Underachiever
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** ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' generally have the problem that Narnia is a country full of fantastic creatures, but to a large part they're just local color while the humans (and ideally human visitors from the "real" world at that) do the ''important'' stuff -- for example, the ''Dawn Treader'' leaves Narnia on [[Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader her eponymous voyage]] with a single nonhuman crew member who's mostly there for comic relief, and of course Narnia immediately starts to go downhill the moment it doesn't have the right sort of ''human'' ruler(s) in charge, too.

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** ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' generally in general have the problem that Narnia is a country full of fantastic creatures, but to a large part they're just local color while the humans (and ideally human visitors from the "real" world at that) do the ''important'' stuff -- stuff. A hundred years of winter under the reign of the White Witch, but it takes four kids from real world Britain to stumble into a wardrobe for example, Aslan to bother showing up and everyone to rally to actually ''do'' anything about her. When the same kids come back post-timeskip and discover to their shock that Narnia's been conquered by humans, it's only to put the "correct" spawn of ''that exact human dynasty'' on the throne and once they do it's all sunshine and rainbows again. The ''Dawn Treader'' leaves Narnia on [[Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader her eponymous voyage]] with a single nonhuman crew member who's mostly there for comic relief, and of course Narnia immediately starts to go downhill the moment it doesn't have the right sort of ''human'' ruler(s) in charge, too.relief. And so on.
14th Jan '16 7:58:38 AM Underachiever
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** ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' generally have the problem that Narnia is a country full of fantastic creatures, but to a large part they're just local color while the humans (and ideally human visitors from the "real" world at that) do the ''important'' stuff -- for example, the ''Dawn Treader'' leaves Narnia on [[Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader her eponymous voyage]] with a single nonhuman crew member who's mostly there for comic relief, and of course Narnia immediately starts to go downhill the moment it doesn't have the right sort of ''human'' ruler(s) in charge, too.
16th Sep '15 6:27:00 AM Sharlee
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** Played with/deconstructed in ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'': not only are the Clan (talking rats) the object of this trope themselves, but their intra-Clan arguments about the status of ''non''-talking rats pretty much cover the full range of WhatMeasureIsANonHuman, from complete disregard and hostility to believing they're innocents that merit kindness and protection.
12th Jul '15 6:22:06 AM Midna
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--->"But you are killing us"\\
"No, I am merely putting you in a very hard to escape situation, if you can't figure it out, it's not my fault"\\
"But you are killing the Chee" (A race of sentient androids)\\
"They are just robots"\\

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--->"But you are killing us"\\
us."\\
"No, I am merely putting you in a situation which is very hard to escape situation, if escape. If you can't figure it out, it's not my fault"\\
fault."\\
"But you are killing the Chee" (A Chee (a race of sentient androids)\\
androids)."\\
"They are just robots"\\robots."\\
3rd May '15 11:12:03 PM nombretomado
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* This is justified in the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' series by saying that all sentient beings other than humans (who go down to the Underworld when they die) and gods (who can't be killed to begin with) can come BackFromTheDead. Consequentially, Percy has no problem killing monsters who attack him but tries to avoid killing human villains. This also justifies the existence of monsters who were killed in the original ClassicalMythology, like the Minotaur.

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* This is justified in the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' series by saying that all sentient beings other than humans (who go down to the Underworld when they die) and gods (who can't be killed to begin with) can come BackFromTheDead. Consequentially, Percy has no problem killing monsters who attack him but tries to avoid killing human villains. This also justifies the existence of monsters who were killed in the original ClassicalMythology, Myth/ClassicalMythology, like the Minotaur.
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