Scholars, in our critical reflection this week, consider the first half of the novel.

three years have passed in Lauren’s life; she has gone from being a precocious 15-year-old
to a de-facto leader of her community. This is normally a time when people grow up or
mature a great deal. Where do you see signs of development or maturation in Lauren’s
writing, thoughts & actions? What specific quotes bring out this maturation? What role
might her brother, Keith, and her father play here? What sense of tension, hopelessness,
or loss is felt in this sections? What other sentiments does Butler portray in the lead up to
the community falling? What specific passages bring this out?
For your consideration, here are some of Butler’s words in an interview from 1996:
One nice thing about writing is that it forces you to look at your own beliefs. My
character (Lauren) got her Books of the Living through a lot of religious books and
philosophical writings and stopping whenever I found myself in agreement or
violent disagreement. Figuring out what I believed helped me figure out what she
believed. And the answers began coming to me in verse. I needed the verses
because I was having such trouble with the novel— trouble in the sense that I had
problems with my main character being a power seeker…I examined a lot of the
problems in Parable of the Sower, and now I’d like to consider some of the solutions.
Not propose solutions, you understand–what I want to do is look at some of the
solutions that human beings come up with when they’re feeling uncertain and
frightened, as they are right now. When people don’t know what they’re frightened
of, they tend to find things. Ridiculous things.
This explication is less formal than an essay (no intro, paragraphs, or conclusion needed)
and asks you to share your insights and observations on the literature. For this analysis,
explore the novel by looking closer not just at what you see the author doing, but at how
they are doing this (i.e., passages and analysis).
• Typed, standard font & margins
• 1 1/2 – 2 pages, single-spaced
• Uploaded to Blackboard as “Critical Reflection 1” on Friday 3/27, 6pm
• No outside sources required
• Late paper police: you will lose 1/3 of a latter grade each day the paper is late. If you
can’t attend class, you still must get the paper to me that day.


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