Friday, January 21, 2011

Will demand of you.

There is no end
To what a living world
Will demand of you.

This verse opens chapter 13 of Parable of the Sower and reached out off the page at me when I read it for the first time. The verse is slightly different than the others in my eyes. In most of Lauren’s Earthseed entries the verses seem to focus on change and the religion she is trying to create. This one is different. Not different in a bad sense but more like unique. At this point in the book more than any Lauren knows that change is not just coming but it is here.

In chapter 12 Lauren’s dad has gone missing for days and of course this affects her. Change is now. The verse describes the events before and after and that’s why I feel it is intriguing. Her dad has been gone for days now and the reality has set in that he is not coming back. The living world Lauren talks about in her verse is her world. She realizes that she, not anyone else, needs to step up. On Sunday morning like any other Sunday morning the neighborhood came over to the Olamina house for church. Yes her father was not there to lead the service but she knew what she had to do. She delivered a sermon it in the loving memory of her father. He was a big influence in her life and now in the life of Lauren change was coming fast.

In the verse Lauren writes that there is no end. This opening line says a lot about Lauren and her religion. It goes along with the theme of change is God. The fact is the only end is death, but while alive there is no end like see says. I consider this a form of foreshadowing. Lauren is intelligent enough to realize that yes her father is gone but it is a change and more is coming. In chapter 13 and on a lot of attention is paid on the Will demand of you. The depth of this simple line is anything but simple. She could have used many different words instead of Will but none would have the power. When see says will, it means she understands the in the world you will have responsibilities and you as a person have to do something about these responsibilities. When you are down, some other event is going to occur and push you down again. It takes a person of true strength to keep bouncing back and continuing their journey like Lauren. This is exactly what she wants to preach or teach to follows. That things change. You can’t dwell on the past of you will be left behind. Change is forward and in the living world there is no end.

Lauren does get past the passing of both her brother and father in a short span of time. She has little time to more because of exactly what she wrote in the verse. There is no end as she says and instead of mourning her father that she loved dearly she had to more on. It was scary for her because just like that she had to be an adult. The good thing is that since the beginning of the book she has wanted to be grown-up. As I have been reading I have been trying myself in Lauren’s shoes and the best word I can come up with is intimidating. She knows that her town is not going to last much longer and when I try to imagine how that would feel and it’s not a good feeling. She understands that her family her town is going to demand more of her more of everybody just to survive and continue. More than ever in the story or Lauren’s life I feel like the verse embodies what is going on. Earthseed is coming together as the outside as well as the inside community are falling apart. This is a huge step in Lauren’s life and I feel the verse rises to the occasion. Honestly I like the verse and I feel it applies to my life as well. I mean I guess that is the point of a religion, to be able to connect too many different people. Lauren uses her verses as crutches to help her along her path through life and I think it’s truly inspiring for her, me, or anyone that will spend the time and listen.


  1. The main criticism I have of your entry is that it acts more as a recounting of events in the novel and only skims the surface of truly analyzing what importance this verse has to Lauren's future. Your last paragraph features a few good implications but, again, they don't delve as deep into Lauren's experiences as I think maybe they should. I do like your selection of verse and I agree that its difference from previous verses is significant but I also believe that with a little bit more critical thinking and analysis you could really make the verse come to life.

    It's true that this philosophy is part of the reason Lauren knows she must leave Robledo but I would have liked to see a more in depth view of how this verse plays into Lauren's other decisions and her overall outlook. How does this effect her interactions with other people in her community? How does it affect her view of the outside world or of Olivar? I'd also like to see your opinion of Lauren's feelings toward this verse itself, for instance does she find inspiration in this revelation or is this a statement of resignation? Analyzing where this verse occurs in the story might help you determine the positive or negative nature of this statement.

    I'm also a bit confused by your overall connection of this verse to the story. At times you talk about the phrase "what a living world will demand of you" but at other times you take the "there is no end" out of context and apply it in the sense of the "end of life". I think it's important to consider this phrase as a whole and consider what implications this string of demands has on Lauren and what it means that she believes there is no end to it. You might also want to think about why she specifically says a "living" world because I find the use of this adjective interesting. What is the living world? Is she living in it? Does it even exist at all?

    Overall I think your selection has the potential to provide us with a very provocative look into both Lauren's determination and preoccupation towards the responsibilities you mention but you need to analyze events in the story a bit further to truly get a feel for the importance of this verse.

  2. The first paragraph is interesting. I'd like to know more of why you find this entry to be so distinct. I at least partially agree with you - the way *I'd* put it (you don't need to agree) is that this is a verse which is more about establishing the need for her religion, than detail its doctrines. The world demands: Earthseed responds to those demands. That's my take on it, anyway.

    The other thing I found most interesting here was your quick statement that you could apply the verse to your own life. Now, you're never under any obligation to get personal - but if you wanted to, it would be interesting to articulate how you relate to the verse.

    Beyond that, though, I'm going to mostly reiterate one of your colleague's comments: you spend a lot of time and energy simply reciting what happens, rather than analyzing what happens in the novel. Without picking apart individual paragraphs, I'll just say this: you had interesting things to say. The verse spoke to you, you related it to your own life, and you saw it as being structurally different in its impact on Earthseed. What you need to do next time is identify what you have to saw that goes beyond just telling us what happened (which anyone in this class should know, anyway...).