Argument: Parable of the sower is a grim reminder of the future if we do not change our ways.
By taking current day issues that are also seen in Parable of the Sower I can prove that the future seen in Parable of the Sower is still very possible as we are dealing with the same issues currently that Butler warns could lead to our downfall.
I plan on focusing on the aspect of oppression of the common people that seems to remain so prominent in Parable of the Sower. I have found and read various current day articles that relate to different instances of oppression that can be found in Parable of the Sower. One of the journals I found examines the quickly widening gap between the top 1% of the US population that hold about 90-95% of the US’s wealth and the remaining 99% of the population that make up the last 5-10%. This can be related to the distinct separation of the rich, who live in walled estates, and the middle/lower class, who live in crime-ridden areas. There are other areas of oppression that I would like to talk about as well such as literacy, racism, sexism, slavery, and drugs. For instance, the topic of racism is still fairly prominent today and it definitely is a prominent theme in Parable as Butler parallels Lauren’s journey up north to the journeys made by black slaves in the nineteenth century, who also traveled north to find ‘freedom.’ Slavery is also a strong topic seen in parable of the sower that can be strongly seen today. In parable of the sower, it talks about being a slave to the company as well as sexual slavery (Allie and Jill). These are two issues that are still dealt with largely today. Many workers today are more or less slaves to the company they work for and I have articles talking about numerous instances where this is the case. For example, in one article it talks about how many companies will force workers to take wager cuts by threatening them with the chance of outsourcing and losing their jobs. I also have a article where a fire department just watched a house burn because the family did not pay the “fireman fee” similar to the fire department and police department in Parable.
All of these issues are noticeable still in today's society and could very well be the same things that existed back in the Butler’s age that she is fearing for in the future seen in Parable of the Sower. With these connections made, I will then try to use literary works to reason why this happens and why this oppressed class is unable to rise up and overcome. By using Invisible Man as well, I will be confirming this thought by showing that these fears were just as prominent back then as they are now. Therefore showing that we are still possibly headed towards this feared fate. By incorporating Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, I’d like to further back up my claims of proving that today's society will not lead into a perfect future. For example, since Parable of the Sower doesn’t deal as much with government issues since there really isn’t one, I plan to use Marcuse to help reason why today’s government is unstable and inefficient and how it is very possible that one day, it could fall as well.
· Lauren travels North – 19th century slavery
· Slave to companies – outsourcing article, longer work hours.
· Sexual slavery – Allie/Jill – prostitution/human trafficking statistics article
o Literacy – today's school literacy rate
o Public Funding – government spending
§ Fire/police department – charge for service
o Global Warming – No rain in Cali (Parable), but when it does rain, it rains for a long time – extreme weather conditions.
o Rich/Poor gap – top 1%
o Prescription drugs
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html - a detailed look at the gap between the top 1% and the bottom 99%
How to Explain Oppression – Criteria of Adequacy for Normative Explanatory Theories - http://pos.sagepub.com/content/35/1/20
http://consumerist.com/2010/10/firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-ground.html - similar instance found in Parable
PRESCRIPTION-DRUG SIDE EFFECTS OFTEN IGNORED BY DOCTORS - https://sslvpn.pitt.edu/hottopics/lnacademic/,DanaInfo=www.lexisnexis.com+?shr=t&csi=156942&sr=HLEAD%28PRESCRIPTION-DRUG+SIDE+EFFECTS+OFTEN+IGNORED+BY+DOCTORS%29+and+date+is+April,%202001