Kindred And The Parable Of The Sower Analysis

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What defines an individual’s racial characteristics? Does an individual have the right to discriminate against those that are “different” in a specific way? In Octavia Butler’s works, which are mostly based on themes that correlate to one another, she influences the genre and fiction in ways that bring light to the problems of societies history. Through Kindred and the Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler examines themes of community, racial identification, and racial oppression through the perspective of a black feminist. In each novel, values and historical perspective show the hardships that individuals unique to an alien world have to face. Through the use of fictional works, Butler is able to delve into historical themes and human conditions, and with majority of works under the category of science fiction, Butler is able to explore these themes through a variety of settings. This essay will discuss two of Butler’s popular works, Kindred and the Parable of Sower, and will interpret the themes of women, race, independence, and power throughout the two novels. The first novel, Kindred involves the main character Dana, a young black woman, travelling through time to explore the antebellum south in the 1800’s. The author uses this novel to reveal the horrific events and discrimination correlated with the slaves of the south at the time. Dana, who is a black woman of modern day, has both slave and white ancestry, and she develops a strong connection to her ancestor Rufus, who was a slave owner at the time. This connection to Rufus indirectly causes Dana to travel into the past where she helps many people suffering in the time period. Butler effectively uses this novel to portray the harshness of slavery in history, and the impa... ... middle of paper ... ...d is correlated to the empath in the Parable of the Sower. Both characters are forced to survive in a society that is irregular from their norms, and each character attempts to blend in for their safety. In Kindred, Dana attempts to fit into a group of black slaves in which she later develops a strong connection to those of the group, and the empath of Sower struggles in a vicious world to develop a sustainable community. Conclusion: In all, racial oppression and identification is a concurrent theme in Butler’s works that have been discussed. Butler’s examinations involving the sense of pride and passion towards uniqueness and individualism are evident in many different perspectives. In Butler’s works, the passion the main characters have towards themselves in an alien world teach the reader important values and lessons against negativity and racial discrimination.

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