Parable of The Sower

Gender Silenced: Walk and talk like a man, it "will be safer for you."
In Octavia Butler's dystopian novel, Parable of the Sower, America is in a state of catabolic decline; the economic infrastructure as it is known today has fallen, and fires rage all across the state of California. Lauren Olimina a girl with hyper empathy, lives in a world of fear, despite pyro drug addicts and a high crime rate, Lauren maintains a space of integrity. She is able to confront the conflicts of her world by embracing the belief that "All successful life is...Interconnected." In short, she models the ideals of her father and includes egalitarian principles within her life. She is a critic of the corporate structures that co-inhabit her world and instead advocates for the strengthening of community centered living.

Lauren stands in contrast to many of the rigid cultural and gender binaries of within her commune; she seeks to unify rather than divide people, and physically she is androgynous. As a female within a hyper violent world, many of her inner thoughts are kept to journal entries and inn many case throughout the novel she silences hyper empathy out of fear of appearing weak, or compromising her loved ones. Despite her various moments of self-silencing Lauren still projects a sense of optimism in her journal entries; she echoes again and again within her Earthseed journal entries that all "successful life is... interconnected."

All successful life is


Interconnected and
Understand this.
Use it.
Shape God
(Butler 148)
I was thinking of Traveling as a man," I said to him, He seemed to be repressing a smile. 'That will be safer for you. You're at least tall enough to fool people. You'll have to cut you hair, though." Zahra grunted. "Mixed couple cathch hell whether people think they're gay or straight. Harry'll piss off all the blacks and you'll piss off all the whites. Good luck" (Butler 207).  

Tony Porter: The Man Box

Michael Ray De Los Angeles,
May 3, 2012, 11:29 PM