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Parable of Sower: Ahead of Its Time

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The novel, ‘Parable of Sower’ by Octavia E. Butler was ahead of its time when it was published in 1993. The book is set in a prospect 2020s where the government has buckled and centers the Lauren Olamina, who can feel and perceive pain along with many additional sensations. These feelings, consequentially, are what keep Lauren on her own path to not acknowledge the belief system in place, the system of the elders. As a young adolescent living in the gated community in Los Angeles, she develops a benevolent religion and philosophical religion. Around the time Lauren is first introduced to us, there is increased resource scarcity and elevated levels of poverty, which has led the civil society to revert to relative anarchism. When the community’s security is threatened, Lauren’s home is broken when her family is murdered. From here on forth, Lauren starts to believe in “hyperempathy syndrome” which she’s convinced she got from her drug-addicted mother, who died whilst giving birth to her.

We can see that there is no such thing as freedom in Lauren’s life. When she goes out, she must be armed. After the first shock and devastation that came over Lauren, she decided to travel North together with other survivors to start a new community of her own and practice her own religion and/or faith: Earthseed. The times aren’t ideal as one can imagine. The novel describes class disparity as apparent and visibly failing. They are divided into three classes: poor, middle-class, and the rich. The wealth disparity is tearing the country apart, especially with politicians giving empty promises with how the conditions will “change” and how they will improve all the distress and failing economies. It’s again; much to Butler’s credit, very ahead of its time and proof of the more things change the more they stay the same, fiction, or sadly, non-fiction as these are the problems we are facing. This difference is much more pronounced in Parable of the Sower; Lauren and her community are “fortunate” can have a house in a walled community but no money or resources to accommodate a relocation to a safer. The only people who are fortunate to move are the rich class, and they have the money to pay for their safety as well. People who are that rich live in estates as Lauren calls them: “one big house and lots of shacky little dependencies where the servants [live].” The poor, on the other hand, are not as fortunate. The poor live outside the walls and tend to die young and very painfully like Lauren’s brother Curtis did shortly before her neighborhood burned down.

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This disparity is drawn upon heavily in an article by Holly Otterbein titled ‘Sanders casts an eye toward ‘Trump Country.'” Otterbein cynically insinuated an instigation that most democratic voters can foresee if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee. “Trump told working people that he was going to be on their side. He is not on their side (OTTERBEIN 2019)” Sanders said. “By the end of this campaign, I suspect that a number of people who voted for Donald Trump will understand that he is not their friend and that the agenda that we have, which is prepared to take on the billionaire class, is the agenda they will support (OTTERBEIN 2019).” To a Trump supporter, these accusations towards his administration are not going to stick, which there lies the problem. How people can be so blinded to follow a leader that they cannot see is against their best interest. As a liberal voter, Trump has made no attempt to help the poor, and his self-proclaimed accomplishments are trickle-down economics from the Obama administration. Yes, while he did foster more job growth by making companies come back to America, I am often left wonder what the corporate agenda behind this was. That tax breaks are the wealthy receiving to induce such a move. Are the tax breaks they receiving equaling out to the amount of new jobs created? One has left to wonder. Let us not forget the bank bailout that were meant to stimulate the economy. Time has proven that the upper class and associated politicians only looks out for its own self-interest.

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