Analysis: Defiance

Irathients and Castithans As Polar Opposites

Castithans are obsessed with cleanliness and order, or at least the appearance of it. Their society is heavily ritualized and rigidly stratified. They believe in everything having a proper place. A common Castithan saying is "Seeming is Being." Outward appearance is very important, and Castithans are very careful to at least appear to be proper. The central ritual of Castithan family life is not the shared meal, as it is with Humans, but the shared bath. The color schemes of Castithan clothing and home decorations involve lots of white and light shades of gray. Even their skin and hair colors are pale white, as if they've been bleached clean.

Irathients, on the other hand, could care less about these things. They are simple and down-to-earth. They live in tune with nature, and because their immune systems are so strong they don't have to worry about cleanliness all that much. As a consequence they always seem dirty or unkempt; their skin and hair are varying shades of brown and red, like dirt. Their culture is less nuclear-family oriented as it is tribal; people who aren't blood relations have very little problem integrating into their groups. They put a greater emphasis on independence and individual desires than they do on familial and/or social obligations.

Little wonder that, of all the Votan races, these two have the most hostility toward one another. They're exact opposites.