Parable of the Sower

Many people I met abroad who have never been to the U.S had built their perception of what they think the country is like based on the movies they have seen. After reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, I believe that the book, written in 1993 and set in a 2024 dystopian America is now a more accurate metaphorical representation of how the country is. Present day America is filled with racial tension, the prevalence of rape culture, xenophobia, loose gun control laws, and corrupt government, all aspects which are present in the book’s dystopian America. The tight state lines reminds me of today’s states refusing to accept refugees and what some states call “illegal” immigrants. It makes me wonder whether residents of California who will start moving to other states in the future due to the increasing water crisis be frowned down upon and targeted? In the book Lauren’s father had both legal and illegal guns in the house to protect the family because criminals were everywhere and there were no strict gun control laws. Keith had told Lauren that it was easy to acquire a gun if one had the right amount of money; once a person has one gun, they can easily get many more by other means. There are more mass shooting in 2015 than there are days on the calendar due to loose gun control law. Everyday more lives continue to be lost because politicians do not want to infringe upon the 2nd amendment not understanding that a tighter gun control law doesn’t mean no more guns. As more mass shootings occur, more families acquire guns in the hopes of using it to protect themselves, which continues the vicious cycle of the guns falling into the wrong hands. When writing the book Butler predicted that there would be no change in the mentality of society that privileges the white race over the Black race. Today, the mass police brutality against Black bodies is a prime example that nothing has changed since 1993 when the book was written, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of future changes. This also proves true for the rampant rape in the book and in our current America brought on by the consequence of living in a patriarchal society. Men use rape as a weapon to devalue women, hurt other men, and assert their power. I’m not usually the one to take dystopian society sci-fi books seriously but with the major unrest and injustice that is happening and with people seriously considering voting for Donald Trump for the 2016 presidency, there seems to be a major disaster coming. Seeing herself as an outsider, Butler was able to step back and observe society to write a novel that still accurately describes its behavior years into the future.

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