Thursday, April 7, 2011

Revision Article

Octavia Butler had a way of writing her “present” day issues and foreshadowing that they will continue on the future. Butler chose issues that she believed would continue to become an issue in the future (2024+). In the Parable of the Sower, individual acts were the only factor Lauren was banking on. She knew that she couldn’t change the world in one day by doing only one act. Lauren realized it’s a process that requires change to be allowed to take its time. No one can change overnight it takes time for a person to realize the wrongs of their ways. Jorge Borges believed that without chaos, there would be no success. Some individuals say “how do you know up, if you never been down.” If change is their way of moving forward than it is most likely the best way for their success. Lauren’s world had been in turmoil for so long I think the only way that they can survive is by moving forward, by any means necessary.

Lauren lived by her own rules and tried to explain to people that the world can be shaped, so that everyone could have a better future. Everyone has choices and the choice that they choose can change the world or action of another person. Lauren thought of change as a cycle if she could change one person’s ideology then it could become a cycle and she could succeed in creating her utopian world. You can’t force a person to change if they are not willing to change. Every choice a person makes, there will always be a cause and effect. Some of our choices have dyer consequences. Everyone wants to think of the good and not the bad; no one wants to think of what consequences may occur because of wrong decisions. Change can happen in multiple ways; Lauren realized she couldn’t change her world by herself. Fixing society means she had to recruit people and persuade them to recognize the problems instead of ignoring them.

In the article “WE NEED STARS”: Change, Community, and the Absent Father in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Mathias Nilges; the author believes that Lauren makes change into God, she transforms change into a religion. By doing this she makes change into a permanent structure which she follows as a faith (Nilges). In a religion there are set guidelines that many follow, Mathias explains that a true believer of change is God will be able to explain and simplify the complexities in Lauren’s world (Nilges). Mathias stated that “Earthseed had created a new paternalistic social structure by “shaping” change and difference to into a new set of laws of the father”, this is because Earthseed had created their own rules and regulations to embrace their new lifestyle (Nilges). Many of the people in Parable of the Sower have no family structure, so for them living by Earthseed’s rules is the closest thing they have to a family structure. Every family household has rules; Earthseed shouldn’t be seen as different because they live by Earthseed verses. According to the article, Lauren embraced change and continued to use change as a universal system of determination.
There are people in the world, who want a better world and there are others that believe that the world is fine the way is currently is. Lauren wants change in her world but if her world was fine before what changed? Change happened, to their so called “perfect world”. Change made Lauren’s world such chaos, it’s actually ironic that Lauren believes that the same thing that ruined her world can also fix it. No one wants to ever realize the problems in their world; they rather ignore them and continue to live their lives.

Society had made Lauren’s world look more dystopian, than it normally would to others. It would be easier not to look at their world’s flaws than embrace them rather than fight it all at the same time (Nilges). Society has a way of changing ones opinion the problems in the world. Everyone loves to pass judgment but no one wants to take the blame for its problems. Lauren’s world is filled with so much violent acts and I believe Butler was speaking of the never-ending cycle that violence will continue. Society is the cause for all of the violence that has occurred in the world. In Parable of the Sower, it was easier for children to kill than acknowledge the problems compared to our society it’s easier for people to buy a gun than for children to buy alcohol. In some cases in the book, violence was inevitable and sometimes violence was needed to survive (Outterson, 449).

Works Cited

Nilges, Mathias. ""WE NEED THE STARS": Change, Community, and the Absent Father in Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents." John Hopkins University Press Fall 2009 32.4 (2009): 1332-354. Literature Online. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. .

Outterson, Sarah. "Diversity, Change, Violence: Octavia Butler's Pedagogical Philosophy." Utopian Studies: Journal of the Society for Utopian Studies (UtopSt) 2008; 19 (3): 433-56. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 02 Apr. 2011. .

1 comment:

  1. I like what you say about Borges, and I like what you say about Butler in the opening – I especially like the up/down quote. What I'm not sure of is how it fits together – you have my interest, but I'm unsure of what your argument might be.

    Similarly, in the 2nd paragraph, I think everything you say has merit – about the role of cycles in the novel, about Lauren being both very willful and desperate to recruit people to her own point of view. But again, I'm unclear on your overall direction.

    I'm interested in the idea, from the essay you cite, that Lauren't religion is a kind of paternalistic replacement for more customary family structures. This is worthwhile research – but what are you doing with it?

    The next paragraph follows the same routine: you say interesting things about violence both in her world and in ours, and about the relationship between violence and blame. All of this is great – but again, what overall purpose does it serve? Then, it's done.

    Overall: more than anything else you've written, this convinces me that I want to understand what you have to say. Your research is well chosen, and even when what you have to is hard for me to follow, I'm interested in it. What was absent was a clear statement of your overall purpose, which would then guide both you through the process of writing the essay and us through the process of reading it.

    For instance, you might have organized around an argument concerning violence and who is to blame for it. Who does Lauren blame for violence? Does she blame rightly or wrongly? Is she herself blameworthy when she uses violence as a tool? Is violence forced upon her, or does she choose it, at least at some points? I'm just guessing, but I think you could have used Lauren to think through the relationship between blame and violence, which seems to be of interest to you – but without analyzing and evaluating Lauren (at least as a starting point) you don't get very far with that potential argument.