Study Guide

Parable of the Sower Chapter 14

By Octavia E. Butler

Chapter 14

Saturday, July 31, 2027—Morning

  • Attackers drive a truck through the gate and destroy it.
  • The neighborhood watchers don't ring the bell—probably because they're killed first.
  • Lauren suspects the attackers are pyro addicts, because they're bald and have painted skin.
  • The attackers shoot at the residents.
  • Lauren grabs her emergency pack and runs. She picks up a gun from a dead body on the way and actually shoots someone with a painted face who tackles her. She loses track of where Cory and the boys are and takes off toward the hills, three miles away.
  • Lauren wonders where her family and Curtis are, and she tries to figure out what to do. She decides to hide on the way to the hills. She sleeps in a burned-out house, in the garage.
  • In the morning, Lauren feels frustrated that her family has never picked out a location to serve as an outside meeting place in case of disaster. She thinks the best idea is to head home to search for her family.

Saturday, July 31, 2027—Evening

  • Lauren reiterates that God is Change. She says she hates God.
  • When Lauren returns home, she sees that all the houses are burned and the neighborhood is crawling with scavengers—people who have come to the neighborhood to take various now-unguarded items.
  • Lauren is unable to find any of the people she grew up with. On her front porch, she finds a dead body with a green painted face.
  • A scavenger strangely tells Lauren that the dead person died for all of them. Lauren later wonders if that's a political message: if somehow the pyro addicts are involved in a burn-the-rich movement. Not that Lauren considers herself rich.
  • Lauren checks through her house and finds some supplies, including a holster. She realizes that her self-training—to take the emergency pack and run—saved her.
  • Picking fruit to keep from drawing attention to herself, Lauren digs up the money buried in the backyard. As she leaves the neighborhood, she sees several corpses, including those of Richard Moss, Robin Balter, Russell Dory, and Michael Talcott. She doesn't see Curtis.
  • Lauren successfully makes it out of the neighborhood and out through the gate. She circles the area, looking for people, but only sees strangers. Unsure what to do, she heads back for the garage.
  • Zahra Moss (Richard Moss' youngest wife) and Harry Balter (Robin Balter's oldest brother) run into Lauren.
  • Lauren remembers that Harry is the one Joanne said she loved and who wouldn't go to Olivar with her because he believed it was a slavery trap.
  • The three catch up, talking about what has happened.
  • Zahra says that she saw the painted people kill Lauren's family.
  • The three sit for a while without talking until Lauren gets up and leads them all to the garage.

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