What does the Horta have to say about Single Parenting? Book Review Summary

Credit for the very first discussion of single parenting would have to go to a classic Star Trek episode, "Devil in the Dark."

In that episode, a shaggy rock-burrowing creature called the Horta is hunted by Federation miners because it has killed several of their workers. But it turns out that the Horta has only been defending itself because the miners have been inadvertently destroying her eggs and thus killing her children.

On one level, this episode is talking the need to understand aliens and their motivations. But, on a deeper level, this episode is talking about single parenting. Is it an accident that the Horta is referred to as a "she" or that she is the "last of her kind," in effect, a single parent? The miners can be seen as a force that disapproves of the Horta's efforts to be a credible single parent. They are a physical manifestation of the societal stigma faced by single mothers around the country. It takes Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock to get the miners (society) to understand that the Horta (the single mother) is not some terrible monster, but an intelligent being who can live in peace with the miners and in fact cooperate responsibly with them (and be a good parent).
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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