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Parable of the Sower Essay

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2020

The parable of the Sower is a very interesting book which has drawn a lot of attention from different people including readers and writers/authors. It is considered to possess some unique characteristics in many aspects especially structure and presentation of information and ideas. Although it is fictitious, the story is presented in a manner that leaves everyone to take or believe it as if it is a true story.

The author, Octavia Butler, brings about the issue of corrupt government depicted by injustice and unfair deals. The parable of the Sower revolves around a young lady by the name, Olamina Lauren. Literature is an interesting field that brings out ideas, to the readers, through various tools. We find that authors not only write their own works but also gain some interests in other people’s work where they provide critics of different perspective.

This piece of work looks at the parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler with much emphases being given to secondary literatures that are deemed important in helping us understand the book in a better manner for instance in regard to its background information and what has been said about it. The context in which the book is written will also be discussed to enhance understanding of all the happenings

Octavia butler is renowned for her writing. She has accomplished much and written many other novels for instance the Kindred, wild seed as well as the Dawn. Some of her notable achievement is the winning of different awards for instance the Hugo award, the Nebula Award and the prestigious MacArthur Award.

The writer died in the year 2006 at the age of 58 years and is fondly remembered to present times. This is because of her realistic nature especially in presentation of social criticism. She is taken as a female representative in this unique genre of fiction (Butler 112).

The context in which the parable of the Sower is written and analyzed is very crucial for the purpose of this assignment. The story of the parable of the Sower is presented in a time at a time when America has undergone civilization. Civilization has been associated with various positive things as well as negative aspects with the negative ones being easily identified through the pains and sufferings that people, especially the poor, undergo.

Some of the negative effects of civilization that are clearly seen among the community include poverty which has in turn caused issues like increased rate in indulgence in various criminal activities such as drug trafficking and substance abuse, murder, rape cases, discrimination, violence among others. It has also led to scarcity of food and other basic necessities making people to suffer so much. Inflation is also an aspect that is associated with American civilization and it has left many people to suffer.

Octavia portrays Lauren as a poor woman who is capable of perceiving and experiencing pleasures, pain and suffering of other people. She lives in pain after her family members are murdered and their home destroyed living her with nothing to look upon.

She however has power to carry on and travels far and wide in search of a place where Earthseed, her religion would grow and prosper. The context in which the book is written is of essence as it helps in connecting the ideas presented by the author as well as the opinions and critics provided by other authors in regard to the book.

The author gives us a detailed story of Lauren where she traces her journey all through America to Canada together with the friends she makes along her way especially those with whom they share similar problems and interests for instance insecurity and poverty and hence are in search of safety and jobs.

There are various authors who have written about aspects presented in the parable of the Sower and it is through looking at their opinions and critics that we will be able to come up with our own inferences and conclusions. According to Dragonsworn (par 3), Octavia butler depicts both positive as well as negative attributes of writing.

On the positive side, Dragonsworn argues that Octavia has been involved in realistic character development, an aspect that has made the readers to be glued to it due to its realistic nature. The fast moving action in the book is also a positive attribute that has led to its popularity. “The good: an amazingly complex post-apocalyptic world, realistic character development, as well as plenty of fast moving action” (Dragonsworn par 1).

On the negative side, Dragonsworn criticized the climax to be unexpected and that the religious messages lack diversity in presentation making them to be monotonous. “The bad: the religious messages of ‘Earthseed’ get a little monotonous. The end isn’t as climactic as one would have liked” (Dragonsworn par 2).

Opinions of a Wolf (Para 4) asserts that religion is a key aspect in the parable of the Sower. It is portrayed through Lauren as she comes up with her own religion by the name, Earthseed where she gathers a number of survivors of her community which was completely destroyed thus calling for various strategies to be taken for the people to move on and fight for their lives.

According to opinions of a wolf, the beliefs of Lauren as depicted in the Earthseed are presented in a manner that is interesting to read. The drawback of the Earthseed is that there seems to be lacking convincing aspects.

“The sections where Lauren discusses her Earthseed beliefs are pleasant to read, but there’s nothing earth-shattering about them” (Opinions of a Wolf Para 5). This argument is based on the fact that the beliefs contained therein are a mixture of other beliefs for instance deism and Buddhism.

The parable of the Sower has been brought out as a very unique and strong genre that combines both science related aspects as well as fiction. These aspects are strategically intertwined around the human conditions making the book to sound so very real.

Contrary to what many readers could think, the parable of the Sower is not a black literature. It does not deal with racism as a main theme as many literatures do but upon the conclusion, the author, Octavia Butler, brings out an amazing fiction where some of the presented characters are revealed to be black.

Although the book has been classified by a majority of people to be very interesting and pleasant to read due to its strong action and strategic character development, it is also associated with a problem of not making great impacts into the lives of people who read it. It however leaves a person in a dilemma of whether to believe the story or not.

Many people who have read it admit that given another chance, they would still read the parable of the Sower and enjoy it. “Parable of the Sower contains a world that feels lived in, realistic, complex, and living. I didn’t realize what I was missing in disaster fiction until I saw how much richer the world could be” (Anonymous Para 7).

It is evident that the parable of the Sower has drawn so much attention, with some authors providing positive critics while others criticize it negatively. All in all, the author, Octavia Butler, has tried to bring out the different ideas clearly by combining scientific concepts and fiction an aspect that has not been easy for many authors due to the contrast involved between science and humanities.

The author is therefore deemed to be very creative in all her writings, not only the parable of the Sower. This has led to increased readership of her works and has also attracted a lot of critics from different grounds. Despite all what is said in regard to either the author of the parable of the Sower or the literature itself, it is clear that Octavia did some good work which is still adored by many.

The author for instance gives us a very detailed background of Lauren, her family and neighbors such that as we go through the story, we have a good flow of ideas. This element keeps a reader glued to the story as he or she is able to closely identify with the characters and share their feelings.

Works Cited

Anonymous. “Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler.” Eyrie, 2006. July 16 2011. <>

Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower. New York: Warner Books, 2000.

Dragonsworn. “Parable of the Sower.” Earthseed, vol 1 2004. Web.

Opinions of a Wolf. “Book Review: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler.” WordPress, 2010. July 16 2011. <>

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Further Study: FAQ

📌 Who are the main Parable of the Sower characters?

The main characters of Parable of the Sower are Lauren Olamina, Reverend Olamina (Lauren’s father), and Corazon (Cory) Olamina (Lauren’s stepmother). Then there are Keith Olamina (Lauren’s brother), Taylor Franklin Bankole, Joanne Garfield, and others.

📌 What is “Earthseed” in Parable of the Sower?

Earthseed is a religion from science-fiction literature. It revolves around the idea that “God is Change.” This religion aims for the present and future, not the past. The religion appears in the books Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler.

📌 What is the moral lesson of the Parable of the Sower?

The moral lesson of the Parable of the Sower has a strong connection with religion. Some people are indifferent towards religion. They refuse to believe in it or understand it.

📌 What is the setting of the Parable of the Sower?

The main setting of the Parable of the Sower is the state of California in the future. The events of the book happened over the four years, from 2024 to 2027.

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