Octavia Butler's The Parable Of The Sower

1680 Words 7 Pages
In Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower the reader sees a society whose commons has been destroyed by large-scale forces such as an alternative-right wing President controlling an inadequate, neoliberal economy, a capitalist civilization which fails to maximize the ‘good’ of all citizens, and a national ideology that is built upon a rigid, outdated set of values. The large-scale failure of the commons coincides with the theory proposed by Hardin about what makes an unsuccessful or successful commons. Butler takes their theory a step further in her novel by showing how these large-scale elements lead to small-scale community effects such as isolation and willful ignorance. This successive fragmentation of society and its impact on individual communities and citizens presented by Butler can be analyzed through Garret Hardin’s political theory on the tragedy of the commons. Butler introduces her readers into a society that suffers from large-scale flaws resulting in a failed commons. The first overarching flaw in the novel is the inadequate neoliberal economy controlled by a destructive President. Lauren describes the new President of the United States as a leader from the alternative-right, who believes in the preservation of the …show more content…
Lauren discusses the community’s inability to change and adapt when discussing the current political climate with a friend following the presidential election. Lauren says, “things are changing now, too. Our adults haven’t been wiped out by a plague so they’re still anchored in the past, waiting for the good old days to come back” (Butler 57). By holding themselves in the past, the adults are unable to adapt and change to current needs in society. Instead, the adults remain rigid in their beliefs. Lauren links the adults’ rigidity to their need to hold on to traditional religion which is painted as out-of-date in the

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