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bluebox's picture

This was a very real alternate reality...

Parable of the Sower: a story about a woman who creates a story to explain what she sees.

Basically.

This is definitely one of my favorite books I've ever read for multiple reasons.  At first i thought it was depressing, but that was before i realized just how bad their situation was.  Then it turned into "oh my gosh this is horrible, how could somebody imagine themselves in the story so well to write this" and then i couldn't put it down. I literally put off meals to read this book because i couldn't read and wield a fork at the same time. Somewhere in there it turned into a reality check, with it starting off being set in 2025 which isn't that far...15 years isn't that much but a lot can change. I think it's possible that something like this could happen if things happen that way, and that's scary. Cultural change in the extreme.

One part of the story that i really enjoyed was the extremely basic view of human interaction, where one would only join or accept a member of a group if there is more to be gained than to possibly lose, a benefits-outweigh-the-risks approach to companionship. I couldn't help but feel privileged to be able to make friends like i do. Not only that, but i felt privileged to not have to worry for my life and for my family every moment of the day. I know i've got it wayyy better than good, but this book made me value it even more.

I like the fact that Lauren Olamina is a sharer because it forces the reader to experience--well not literally--but at least be aware and understand that this future, Lauren's reality is painful beyond belief. I feel like that part was meant to be a warning, but the majority of the story was ...now that i typed that, i don't know what the main point of the story was.  There are so many perspectives it could be taken from, i almost feel like there's no right answer.

Somebody made the point that Bankole was the only one to dismiss Earthseed, but accept it anyway because he liked Lauren. I'd like to use this as an example of one of my beliefs, that not everybody needs a story to explain why. Earthseed, being an extremely general idea based off of a set of universally similar experiences, made sense to a lot of people, and that's why it wasn't really dismissed until Bankole didn't really care. He's old anyway, he's figured out that he doesn't need an explanation to just be and do the best he can to survive.

I also wanted to make the point that the book starts with the Bible--discussing parts of it, her father's church--and ends with it, with the bit of the bible called the parable of the sower, which basically says It's all random, you should be glad if you're lucky enough to get cast a good lot.  After finishing the book and looking back at the title of the book, i thought the first idea one would have is that it's all a good christian parable, maybe with an in-depth analysis of parts throughout the book that could be construed as referencing the new testament.  The way i see it is that by starting and ending with the bible, but with an Earthseed quote even before the bible talk in the beginning, and then naming the book something religious, it says that they're all just stories. Earthseed and the Bible are both just different ways to explain what people can see, different means to an end.

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