The class blog for a section of Literature and the Contemporary, a literature and writing class offered at the University of Pittsburgh.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Prompt for Second Parable of the Sower Blog Post
Note 1: This is due not this Thursday, but next Wednesday. If you're going somewhere fun for break, you might want it in early. If not, consider this my gift to you for being stuck in Pittsburgh.
Note 2: By tomorrow (Wednesday) evening, your next reading assignment (from Borges) will be in this space.
Prompt 1: The main body of Butler's text (which, although it reads mostly like a conventional first person narrative, is theoretically Lauren Olamina's diary) is interwoven with Earthseed verses. All of these are deeply important to the text as a whole. Pick one verse which particularly interests you, and write a short essay analyzing some event in the text using that verse. How does the incident illustrate the verse, for instance. Doing this prompt well requires that you take Olamina's status as a religious thinker and leader seriously - for the purposes of this prompt, it might be a good idea to think of the novel as a series ofparables (drawn from Olamina's life) illustrating her religious theory or principles.
Prompt 2: Using cited research (what method of citation you use isn't important, as long as you make clear what research you're using where) regarding some issue of obvious interest to Octavia Butler (the "crack epidemic" is one good choice; global warming, especially as understood in the late 80s and early 90s, is another) try to demonstrate a precise way in which she is influenced by and critiquing the US of the late 80s / early 90s.