Octavia Butler's Use Of Religion In Dystopian Novels

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Throughout time humans have struggled with the unknown, with the fear that once life is over nothing remains, that the only thing awaiting them is oblivion. To combat these fears we create various religions, belief systems, and faiths to reassure ourselves that we are not shouting into the void, that something will come out of our existence. Prime examples of these belief systems are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism which emphasize a spiritual world. In dystopian novels, characters are often placed in situations without faith or religion such as The Giver by Lois Lowry, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the removal of faith forces characters to rely solely on themselves and helps depict the hopelessness in their world. The erasure of faith leads one to believe that it is a selling point of our society and should be kept intact, which is why Octavia Butler’s use of religion is odd in the genre. In Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower the narrator Lauren Oya Olamina creates a new religion called Earthseed and aims to offer her society hope for the future while they suffer the corruption and disintegration of the only world they know. Parable of the Sower states the function of religion, and specifically Earthseed, is to unite people in a single hope as the world goes to hell. Butler gives the reader a…show more content…
She grows from a girl awaiting orders; to the decision maker in a community of people she had no prior relations to, save Harry and Zahra. As the leader of her community she uses Earthseed as their tool for survival, reading passages at resting times and falling back on Earthseed principles when the group struggles through trials. Lauren insists that through Earthseed her people have the potential to flourish and reach their Destiny among the stars. Lauren enumerates on this topic of Destiny on page

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