The Student News Site of Westerville South

The Scribe

The Student News Site of Westerville South

The Scribe

The Scribe

The Student News Site of Westerville South

The Scribe

The Student News Site of Westerville South

The Scribe

Seniors Sumeya Ali and Idman Warsame smile radiantly as they walk down the auditorium stairs to represent their country, Somalia, in the fashion show.
Westerville South performs annual Black History Month show
Grace Rodstrom, News/Feature Editor • February 28, 2024

Each year, students of all Westerville schools anticipate the biggest student-run show of February: The annual Black History Month Show. With...

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Barack-Obama
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/barack_obama_409128
Barack Obama - First African American president
Charles Amara, Business Manager • February 20, 2024

Barack Obama served as the 44th president of the United States. Some of his accomplishments include becoming the first African American president,...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin
Aretha Franklin - The queen of soul
Anne Keir, Reporter • February 13, 2024

Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee and she died in 2018 at the age of 76. Aretha won 18 Grammys. She had 112 singles...

The 2024 Dystopia: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

The+2024+Dystopia%3A+Parable+of+the+Sower+by+Octavia+E.+Butler

“All that you touch/ You Change./ All that you Change/ Changes you./ The only lasting truth/ Is Change”So begins Parable of the Sower. The book is set in a post- apocalyptic future of the United States. Climate change is devastating the planet, the government is proving ineffective against a growing wealth inequality, and corporate greed has reinstated wide-spread indentured labor. The book begins in 2024. 

The story takes the form of diary entries written by the protagonist Lauren Oya Olamina. Lauren’s mother abused drugs during her pregnancy leaving Lauren with a ‘hyper-empathy’ syndrome where she experiences the pains of others as if they were alone. 

At first Lauren is just trying to get along with her step mother, step brothers, and Baptist minister father. But her journey begins when their walled community of Robledo, California is attacked by outsiders and the town burns. Lauren flees north with two other survivors. 

Walking north she begins to gather a following around her new religion of ‘Earthseed’ with the goal of finding a place to settle where they can be safe. Lauren sometimes seems superhuman in her ‘hyper-empathy’ to other characters. Knowing that she is experiencing their pain also  helps others to empathize with her and this shared empathy and understanding helps Lauren to spread Earthseed. Earthseed centers divinity around change with a goal of spreading the ‘seeds’ of the earth, humans, around the planet and eventually into outer space. 

This book is amazing. The exquisite character development that Butler employs to explore how Lauren and most notably her younger brother Keith grow up and adapt to their world makes the characters feel real. As Keith grows up, he yearns to be allowed to practice with guns. However, before he turns 15 and is allowed to, Keith runs away and joins a gang of drug dealers. Readers empathize when Keith explains to Lauren that he was trying to feel like he was doing something to make life easier for his mother and other brothers.

After alienating one of her childhood friends, Lauren realizes how scaring people into doing what she feels is necessary to plan for the seeming inevitable destruction of Robledo is not the best way to convince people.  As her father says, “You draw more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Additionally, Butler’s exploration of how people act in a society falling apart is incisive and poignant.

 At one point, Lauren sees four children roasting a human leg over a fire;  at other moments, Lauren and her group debate whether or not they should share some of their precious supply of water with an old man who was almost killed by thieves.

Fans of science fiction may enjoy this book’s sequel Parable of Talents, and Butler’s other works the Patternist series, standalone Kindred, and the Xenogenesis trilogy in addition to several short stories. I rate this book 9/10.

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About the Contributor
Merrigan Riggs, Reporter
My name is Merrigan Riggs. I am a freshman at Westerville South, and I participate in Chess Club and theater. I am a voracious reader who enjoys writing. I can't wait to bring my skills to The Scribe.

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