A Cage Of Butterflies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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A Cage of ButterfliesA Cage of Butterflies introduces the controversial idea that there is potential for the misuse of scientific knowledge and practice by unscrupulous people. Brian Caswell has written this fictional book to make people aware of this problem in our society. The theme of the book can be seen from the different perspectives of the characters; the babies, the think tank group, Susan and Eric and the scientists. Caswell points out that some people place such things as fame and money in front of ethics and morality. The author also highlights the dangers in practices on which no restrictions are in place to prevent research like this going on behind closed doors.

A Cage of Butterflies tells the story of an institute for teenagers whose social skills border none yet have very high IQs. The seven teenagers: Greg, Mikki, Gretel, Chris, Gordon, Leslie and Katie live at the clinic in the outskirts of Newcastle in New South Wales.

These kids made up the think tank group. The farm is run by three scientists: Brady, Larsen and Macintyre.

"We're like a new toy"¦they're just playing with us, experimenting" (Page 19) The novel is choreographed in a way in which not many novels are. Each chapter tells the story from a different point of view. This is an effective way of telling the story without giving it all away at once.

Deep inside the facility, Larsen and Macintyre were secretly documenting "the babies". These babies were a scientific phenomenon. At the age of eight they were super intelligent beings. Larsen was determined to find the cause of this intelligence even if it meant going beyond ethical and moral boundaries.

"He's got the ethics of a sewer-rat." (Page 119) An example of the lack of ethics is the deceit that...