"Parable of the Sower" Then and Now Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1998 Words
Date:  2022-05-06

The Parable of the Sower vividly describes how there has been a breakdown in the society which has resulted in mass anarchy leading to a situation whereby people tend to trust each other only for protection purpose. From the experiences of Lauren Olamina in this world and the manner in which she describes the society that she lives in acts as clear evidence that stereotyping of gender roles still exists as well as women exploitation, crossing gender boundaries, gender violence, and gender essentialism. In the Parable of the Sower novel Lauren's experiences help in enhancing people's understanding regarding the manner in which women are exploited. The women were looked and viewed as being "filthy." For example, when Lauren sees a naked woman stumbling on the road, she regards it as being an occurrence that was normal (Butler 57). Lauren described the incidence as being normal since women were often chased onto the streets while drugged and naked after being used by the men. This can be related to the modern day domestic abuse of the woman which occurs often, and the society has embraced it as a norm. The women face different forms of slavery. The women were not looked at as humans but rather like objects of exploitation. After Lauren went back to her neighborhood, she found girls and women on the streets who had been raped before they were killed.

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In the current world, the women have been stereotyped as people who are supposed to cook and stay at home taking care of the children (Unger). In the novel, Lauren says that "her life is pretty much what the neighborhood expects of anyone her age that is to grow up, get married and have babies" (Butler 110).

The women were considered as illiterate people who were supposed to stay at home. In the novel, Joanne tries to explain to Lauren how hard it is to survive outside the walls if all one knew was to cook and to take care of the babies. The insight of Lauren depends greatly on her education. The role of the men was to provide protection and security to the family. Keith tries to argue with his parents about leaving Robledo, and he tells them that "I am a man, I should not be hiding in the house," this portrays the kind of bravery that the men were expected to possess. Robledo feels that by staying at home, he will be considered to be weak. There still exists a gap between the male and the female and how the society tends to view them in the society. In the Parable of the Sower, Butler describes how the women did not enjoy their freedom of movement. This is evident when Lauren says that "I am going to dress up like a man" (Butler 177).Lauren is forced to cross gender boundary by dressing like a man to be able to leave Robledo with a sense of power.

The current world is full of environmental and social crises. The novel shows the groups that face oppression in the American society. Environmental justice scholars and activists tries to make a connection between class, race and the environmental ill to show that communities that are composed of the poor and racial minorities tend to suffer more from the ills encountered in the environment as compared to the people who belong to the wealthier communities (Adamson, Joni, Mei, and Rachel) . In the novel, Lauren says about the importance of her middle-class status. Lauren further says that her story would be different if she were rich since the worst atrocities of her time would be sheltered from her and on the other hand if she was poor she could be more familiar with the suffering of the minority group that experience the worst that is offered to them by the society (Butler). In the America society the women, the poor, racial minorities, gay, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered tend to experience different kinds of victimization within the society. These groups go through some of the worst conditions that the society has to offer as well as persevere the ideology of racism, sexist and homophobic (Barry 224). In the novel, Butler discusses the connection between social injustice and environmental disaster which shows how the American society victimizes the minority groups with environmental degradation disproportionately. It was considered illegal to help the social minority group as they were considered as people who were supposed to suffer. This is evident when Lauren writes that "My stepmother says she and my father once stopped to help a woman who had been injured and the people who had injured the woman jumped from a wall and almost killed them" (Butler 10).Despite noticing the suffering of the people allowed Lauren is not in a position of helping them but only show sympathy to those who are less fortunate than her.

In the American society, any sign of weakness exhibited by a person can result in assault, rape or death. Lauren suffers from a hyper-empathy syndrome which is a psychological disorder which was caused by the use of drugs by her mother before she gave birth. Due to her condition of the disorder, Lauren is more likely to suffer since an attacker is likely to take advantage of her weakness and overpower her. Lauren refers herself as being the most vulnerable person she knew (Butler 12).In the American society, the status quo perpetuation mainly depends on the difference between the self and the other as well as the inability of those suffering to empathize with one another. The current world that people live in is full of inequality and struggle for resources whereby only a few are privileged. People are forced to focus on their problems rather than feeling the pain of others so that they can be in a position of competing with one another to acquire a given status quo in the society and resources.

People have turned into Christian faith to seek help and support due to the excessive use of illegitimate authority and arbitrary uses of power. In the Parable of the Sower, the Protagonist demonstrates that she can live a life of hope against without succumbing to a warranted yet paralyzing pessimism or to understandable yet miserable misanthropy through the love ethic of Christian faith (Butler).Butler refers to the Bible as a resource for shaping and understanding modern existence which should be valued and is meaningful. According to James Cone who is an African American theologian since the white preachers and theologians refused any relationship between the scriptures and struggled for freedom, we bypassed the tradition of the classic Western theological and directly went to the use of the scripture for its word in regard to the struggle of the blacks. Cone further stipulates that the Bible has a double meaning for the Black Americans that is emancipation as an earthly possibility rather than just a reward for afterlife and seeking of freedom (Butler).

In the American society the government officials are corrupt, and they got no time to help the poor and the needy in the society. The rich are continuing to get richer while the poor are continuing to suffer. The Parable of the Sower helps in offering a solution that is spirited towards the social unrest, corruption, human misery and the outright violence that most of the Americans are facing in the 21st century. The incentives of Butler against her own social, political, economic and cultural moment assist in giving shape to the future of the Americans which is more about redressing the past rather than building a future that is new and different. This is mainly because despite the country becoming a horrid world amidst drastic transformations it is only through readaptation that one can survive. In the Parable of the Sower Lauren refers to these readaptations that can assist a person to be able to survive in the new conditions as "change" (Butler).Realizing the existence of an inferno that is beneath the contemporary American civilization acts as a motivation for a narrative which tries to answer the plight of the Afro-American yearning for the collective rearrangement and reinvention of America and not only to the plight of an apparent female search.

Since the seventeenth century, the American culture has been embedded in the scheme of national salvation. In the novel, Butler celebrates the social-spiritual renewal of the nation. The novel uses a language that is both secular and sacred and which reenacts the ritual that was performed since the Puritans of Americans renewed millenarian impulses that were symbolized in the construction of the new community of Acorn. The novel is used to illustrate a moral lesson concerning the cultural and literary tradition of the Americans.

The current American society is filled with all sorts of social immorality and bad behavior's which includes drug abuse, violence, rape, assault, murder, capitalism and unreasoning hatred. Butler employs science fiction in the novel to act as a social reformation tool. In the novel, Butler says "Olamina and her followers can begin something purposeful and constructive" (Butler 253).The current American generation needs to be taught various moral which have greatly changed as compared to the past.

In the ruined landscape of the twenty-first century, Lauren founded a new religion referred to as the Earthseed. The Earthseed helps in defying the cosmic pervasiveness of change with a simple statement that "God is Change." The Earthseed challenges the imagination of the 1990s utopian imagination to invent new modes of organization that can work within the new material and social realities. The aim of the Earthseed is to change humanity as a whole. In the novel, Butler preaches a moral lesson which makes the book to turn out to be a parable that can only be understood by the people whose ears are ready just like its biblical homonym. From the novel to be a member of an Earthseed Community, Olamina says that" One must learn how to shape God with care, forethought, and work, as well as to benefit and educate the community including their families and themselves so as to help in working towards fulfilling of the Destiny"(Butler 240).

People have engaged in activities that have greatly degraded the environment. These are some of the issues which have been neglected by the government and can result in greater disasters in the future. During an interview with the Essence magazine, Butler says that "all she did was looking around at the issues that have currently been ignored and neglected and within the next 30 years they will turn out to be disasters that are full-fledged" ("Brave New Worlds" 164).The degradation of the environment has resulted in the greenhouse effect which has led to starvation and agricultural displacement. Most of the lands have turned out to be less productive due to the human activities taking place. These are some of the big problems that require being addressed since they are greatly affecting the Americans. Most of the groups that are affected and experience the worst that has to be offered by ecological disaster include the women, racial minorities, the poor, gay, transgendered and bisexual. Butler brings up a connection between social injustice, and environmental disaster is in light of environmental justice criticism that shows how the minority groups have been victimized by the American society inappropriately regarding issues relating to environmental degradation. The Earthseed encourages the use of environmental knowledge for survival since that is what it means to "shape God" (Butler 58).Just like the Christian Americans Lauren sees nature as a primary resource for humans and has more knowledge about how the resources of the earth can be used to get the most out of it. One of the reasons that Lauren is willing to move to space and start a new home is because she sees nature and therefore the earth.


In conclusion in the novel, the Parable of the Sower Butler envisions greatly about the United States future. Various issues are cur...

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