The most obvious theme in Mother and Child is the dangers of unlimited technology. The plague which devastated the human civilization is almost certainly genetically engineered. The resulting decline in civilization and in technological understanding opens the door to the silicon-based "gods" and another theme in the book. The "gods" are outsiders manipulating the human societies for their own selfish purposes.
The parallel between the "gods" and the imperialistic governments of the past and present is unmistakable. The moral and ethical questions are also analogous — does a more advanced society have the right to manipulate a less advanced society for its own ends?
The most overarching theme in Mother and Child is the importance of communication. In a world where most of the inhabitants are deaf, communication is a problem. That most of this world is also illiterate compounds the problem.
Communication can take place only face...