Study Guide

Parable of the Sower Chapter 6

By Octavia E. Butler

Chapter 6

Saturday, March 8, 2025

  • Joanne tells her parents about the talk she had with Lauren, and the 'rents tell Lauren's father. Uh oh.
  • Dad comes into Lauren's bedroom to have a talk with her, and he tells her not to frighten people.
  • Lauren worries she that won't be able to trust anyone again, and she's glad she wasn't more open with Joanne. For example, Lauren didn't share her religion with her.
  • Lauren defends herself during the talk with her father by saying she was simply telling the truth. Her father says the effect is only to make people panic. He's relieved that she wasn't trying to talk Joanne into running, away, and he makes Lauren promise not to scare anyone else. She promises.
  • Lauren also comes up with an idea: people should prepare emergency kits in case they have to leave home quickly—but they can call the kits earthquake packs so that the idea won't be so scary.
  • Lauren's father says it's a good idea, and he also encourages her to teach people rather than frighten them. He suggests that Lauren teach her kindergartners out of the plant book she loaned Joanne. He also suggests that she ask Mr. Hsu and Mr. and Mrs. Montoya about teaching martial arts classes.
  • Finally, Lauren's father tells her he'll show her where some important things are buried in the backyard in sealed containers.

Sunday, March 9, 2025

  • Lauren's father preaches a sermon about Noah and the ark. The point is that if Noah is going to be saved, he has a lot of hard work to do—just as the community in Robledo does.
  • Joanne asks Lauren if they're still friends. Lauren only says they're not enemies, and she tells Joanne to get the plant book back to her father.

Wednesday, March 12, 2025

  • Thieves come into the neighborhood and steal from gardens. Yikes.
  • Lauren's dad is inspired to organize regular watches. Armed pairs will patrol the neighborhood all night in shifts.
  • Lauren overhears her father and stepmother talking about the patrols. Cory, the stepmother, thinks that the watchers should call the police rather than shoot at thieves. But Lauren's father says the neighborhood can't afford to pay the police, and that the police are only interested after a crime has been committed. Lauren sees Cory as being in denial like Joanne.
  • Cory quotes the Bible to Lauren's father: Thou shalt not kill. In response, he cites a passage that tells people to defend their families.

Saturday, March 15, 2025

  • The neighborhood watch is now set up. The watchers meet weekly to practice martial arts and shooting. Because of the thieves, Lauren says, people are preparing for the worst. She thinks the neighborhood watch is progress. Yay for progress.

Saturday, March 29, 2025

  • Thieves strike again. This time, they try to steal rabbits (the Moss family is into raising rabbits for sale).
  • The watchers, Alejandro Montoya and Julia Lincoln, spot the thieves and shoot warning shots into the air. The thieves flee, abandoning the rabbits, a rope, a ladder, a pistol, and more.
  • Cory criticizes Lauren's father's plan by pointing out that there could have been a gun battle, or someone in the Moss house could have been hurt. She says it's not worth losing her spouse over protecting rabbits.
  • But Pops says the community needs to defend itself. He says people need to hold on and survive until good times come back.
  • Lauren thinks her father and stepmother are both right. She also thinks there should be something more the community could do, some better destiny to shape for themselves.

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