Prompt: Octavia Butler uses literature and science fiction to write a cautionary

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Jul 27, 2022


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Octavia Butler uses literature and science fiction to write a cautionary tale about a dystopian future. Butler uses, the notorious parable as a framework and title. The reader is introduced to Lauren Olamina, at 15 years old and the novel unfolds her journey to 18, through writings of her personal journal. Through Lauren’s journals, Butler reveals the maturity, growth, ideas, conflicts and contradictions that Lauren faces. Every chapter begins with a verse, from Lauren’s developing philosophy and teachings, Earthseed. Many of these verses are abstract and others more direct. Many of these verses are aimed at critical thinking and change. These verses also foreshadow themes, ideas and concepts of the chapter. Butler claims that writing verses for her was a good challenge. Butler writing was guided by reading and thinking critically about the world around her along with questioning, “What is the most powerful force, what as a society can we not stop no matter how hard we try?”
Your final is to come up with your own original verse or parable. Reflect on the assignments in our course, around: close-reading, social commentary, proposing solutions, identifying problems, themes from Parable of the Sower, global issues, local issues, politics, rhetoric, imagination, art, consumerism, literacy…
Come up with a verse or parable (400 words or less). Begin with a message or topic you want humanity to think more critically about. Once you have a topic, decide if you this message is better told in a story form or abstractly. Reflect on symbols, motifs or ideas connected to this message, topic or lesson you want to develop.
You must write a one-page, (MLA formatted) paper discussing your parable/verse. Discuss target audience, ethos, pathos, logos used or symbols/connotations. Discuss how and what you feel is important about critical thinking.
Discuss if the novel or something personal inspired this verse/parable. Be specific and direct in your explanation. Vague responses will result in lowered grades.


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