Study Guide

Parable of the Sower Tough-o-Meter

By Octavia E. Butler

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree Line

Parable of the Sower is a pretty straightforward read. Setting aside the verse passages, the prose is fairly plain and unadorned, with our teenage narrator simply telling it like it is, with few hidden meanings. If you just want to read the story of Lauren's neighborhood falling apart and her fleeing north, picking up allies as she goes, then you won't have much trouble.

On the other hand, the philosophical and religious ideas, especially when they take shape in poetic verse, can cause you to scratch your noggin some as you try to figure out just what exactly it all means, or how exactly it relates to Lauren. Have no fear, though. The religious and philosophical ideas are definitely accessible, and if you have trouble with them, you can turn right to us here at Shmoop to help you out.

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