I have given considerable thought to the word “donation” in the title and how freely (or not) that donation is given. There seem to be degrees of free will involved in the donations, and there are multiple directions in which something is given to others. Is something being given freely if it is asked for? Mr. Harkonnen doesn’t think Mrs. Harkonnen is free to say “no” and says she thinks there will be a time when Trish quits asking. She enters into a contract in which she will “donate” an amount of sleep equal to the amount they extract from Baby A. She comments, “I don’t feel like a slave to the contract. I don’t feel that Mr. Harkonnen tricked or frightened me into it” (page 120 in my edition, 3 pages before the end of “The Poppy Fields.”)
There are comments about “elective insomniacs” and questions about whether they have a choice.
There are several mentions of “human exchanges” – sex, a kiss, the contract(?) – “a rare transfer wherein both bodies get to be donor and recipient and recipient and donor.”
Near the end Trish envisions a future in which no one can dream freely; they will all be monitored, enforced by the government.
What are your thoughts on these, or other, aspects of “donation”?