Study Guide

Parable of the Sower Chapter 1

By Octavia E. Butler

Chapter 1

Saturday, July 20, 2024

  • The book opens with our protagonist Lauren's fifteenth birthday. Happy birthday, Lauren.
  • Lauren recounts a dream for us. It's a recurring dream she has when she tries to please her father and pretend nothing unusual is going down.
  • The dream has two parts.
  • In the first part, Lauren's teaching herself to fly in some place similar to her home, and she's trying to avoid fire.
  • The second part is a repeat of a real-life conversation Lauren had with her stepmother at age seven.
  • The conversation focuses on the stars, which are visible to our narrator and her stepmother.
  • Stepmother says the city lights used to blot the stars out.
  • Lauren says that's okay: she prefers the stars to any city lights that used to exist.
  • Um, folks, if you hadn't caught on, that means there used to be cities before Lauren was born, but now there aren't any, so the stars are easy to see.
  • Stepmother replies that she wants the city lights back soon, but at least the stars are free.

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