Parable of the Sower

Writing and Language in Parable of the Sower College

Even before there were written words, people communicated through gestures and images in order to explain important things in their lives, attesting to the social importance of clear communication. Language helps us track human progress through history, as language evolves just as complexly and quickly as human culture and society does. Through changes in language, we can observe the way our world has grown and developed over time and learn new things about human behavior. We use language not only to teach and protect but to share feelings, express thoughts, and spread ideas from one person to another. In Octavia Butler’s 1993 novel Parable of the Sower, language is a crucially important element to the story. In a dystopian future wrecked by chaos and destruction, most people struggle to find basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. From inside a walled community, Lauren, a young woman, observes the disparity of her situation. Although she is safer than the average person, she has no prospects from inside the walls and finds herself positioned against her devout father when she no longer wants to follow his religion.

When Lauren is forced to venture out into the world, she begins to build a new religion, Earthseed, and...

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