|Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents|
Note: If you plan to read Parable of the Talents it would be best not to read this post and the following posts, because they contain a few spoilers. Also, if you plan to read only one of the two books in the series, you should read Parable of the Sower, not just because it is the first of the two volumes but also because it is the better of the two books.
None of the following will appear in the reception history of the parables book; it has already been cut because of word count.
Continuing the discussion of Parable of the Talents:
Why have we allowed ourselves to be seduced and betrayed these allies of Satan, these heathen purveyors of false and unchristian doctrines? . . . These pagans are not only wrong. They’re dangerous. . . . They are the natural destroyers of our country. They are lovers of Satan, seducers of our children, rapists of our women, drug sellers, usurers, thieves, and murders! (84).
We can be a long-term success and the parents, ourselves, of a vast array of new peoples, new species . . . or we can be just one more abortion. We can, we must, scatter the Earth’s living essences—human, plant, and animal to extrasolar worlds: “The Destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars” (48; cf. 65, 249, 293, 321-322).
Is literal, physical—other worlds circling other stars. It promises people immortality only through their children, their work, and their memories. For the human species, immortality is something to be won by sowing Earthseed on other worlds. Its promise is not of mansions to live in, milk and honey to drink, or eternal oblivion in some vast whole of nirvana. Its promise is of hard work and brand-new possibilities, problems, challenges, and changes (49; cf. 143-144).
God is Change,And in the end,God prevails.But meanwhile . . .Kindness eases Change.Love quiets fear.And a sweet and powerfulPositive obsessionBlunts pain,Diverts rage,And engages each of usIn the greatest,The most intenseOf our chosen struggles (47).
The next post will talk about how Olamina and others escape their imprisonment and what they do afterward.