The main character of Parable of the Sower, Lauren, is an African American girl who grew up in the family of a priest in a gated community in Robledo, California. The story takes place in a dystopian world experiencing a crisis of society and environment, which fills it with cruelty and pain. In this world, Lauren has an unusual and painful gift for feeling the pain and pleasure of others, which she calls hyper-empathy. The fall of Robledo, the penetration of violence and death into it, shows Lauren that her community is as insecure as the rest of the world, and the death of her family forces her on a journey to create a new world.
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Butler (2014) uses these events and remains of the gated community to show how Lauren is shaped through pain and trials and how her faith is strengthened. Each new member of the new community that Lauren meets during her journey reveals her character, and her hyper-empathy often helps her find a connection. In addition, Butler (2012) uses the setting of the ruined world to show and strengthen the importance of religion in people’s lives, since they were left with nothing and all they can only believe and support each other.
At the same time, although hyperemia painfully affects Lauren physically and mentally, over time, a young woman manages to use her feature as an advantage. Lauren is helped by her erudition and education, which make her not only receptive but also understanding. Although most people in her community believe that something is wrong with her, the girl begins to accept her condition as a gift. While traveling, Lauren meets many people, and since she understands their pain, she manages to become a leader and form a new community based on a new religion. So while Lauren understands that she suffers from her hyper-empathy, her trait helps her make the community a better place.
Butler, O.E. (2014). Parable of the sower. Hachette UK.