History serves as a lesson for the future, and Butler’s Parable of the Lost Sower provides a critical look at America’s historical events. Rather than taking a direct approach, Butler tells the story of an American future that has not learned from previous mistakes. The author uses various themes that provide meaningful social commentary on American society’s future if it continues to refuse to change. In particular, Butler demonstrates countless issues, such as false promises, women’s vulnerability, opportunity, and survival for black people, among others, as a way of challenging racist, sexist, and ableist ideologies in the Parable of the Sower.
Butler challenges racist ideology in The Parable of the Sower as she draws upon her own history together with that of African American history. Race is a theme that is evident throughout the work. Different from before, Butler demonstrates how racism has taken form in the new modern-day slavery. In the book, Butler explains how the newly elected president alleges to create a system where employers offer homeless employees, i.e., African Americans, space to live in exchange for the suspension of minimum wage and protection laws (Sower, 25). Butler writes that most black people in the community where her protagonist lives would prefer to take such an opportunity to be stripped of their freedom in exchange for survival. In the interview between her and Randall Kenan, Butler mentions that her mother worked on a sugar plantation during her early childhood. Butler uses this example of her personal encounter to demonstrate how racism is not ending but is instead of taking on new shapes in modern society.
In The Parable of the Sower, Butler challenges the racist ideology by presenting critiques of the shameful actions that continue to bind down society’s progress. America’s history is plagued with racism towards the black community. In her book, modern society has still not changed but is working towards eradicating the black man. The theme of racism intersects with others throughout the book, as Butler writes to advocate meaningful change. Concerning gender, Butler makes it clear in the book that racism affects both black men and women; however, being a woman makes racism more complicated. She gives examples of how black women experience far worse repercussions and are only expected to perform traditional jobs, such as taking care of other’s homes for substandard pay and lengthy hours. Butler intersects racism and gender as a way of undermining the inequalities that keep on advancing into America’s future.
Butler also undermines sexist ideologies in her book through a depiction of how women can adapt and change. In The Parable of the Sower, Butler offers readers a woman protagonist who diverts from society’s stereotypical black woman role. From a young age, the protagonist [Lauren] is aware of her surroundings in the sense that she can feel and understand the suffering of others around her. She particularly takes note of how women are more vulnerable in a modern society that is outrageously sexist. Even at home, her brothers make her feel vulnerable because of their cultured perception of girls and women. Butler indicates that women in society are meant to be caretakers, whereas men are the protectors of their families (Sower, 80). From this example, Butler attempts to elaborate on how stereotypical perceptions of women exist in modern society. At the time of the book’s publication, the protagonist lives in the future. However, time does not matter since women are still considered less than equal to men.
Changing the identity of the protagonist in the book is a portrayal of how Butler challenges sexist ideologies. After her community is destroyed, Lauren attempts to survive in the cruel world by heading to the North. At this juncture, Butler intersects racism by using an event that occurred to continue existing in the future. During her journey, Lauren changes her identity by acting like a man. For the protagonist, she has a better chance to survive by acting like a man. Butler challenges sexism by demonstrating that women are vulnerable because they are open to starvation or assault if they are out independently. On the contrary, men are less vulnerable, even if they are alone. Butler changes her protagonist’s identity to challenge the stereotypical perception of women that they cannot fend for themselves unless they pretend to be men.
The Parable of the Sower provides its readers with a view of ableist ideologies that are the foundation of racism and sexism. Butler challenges ableism by demonstrating the opportunities that black people have, and women in particular. In the book, the protagonist wonders whether she will get employment to teach or read and write for others (Sower, 114). On the one hand, Butler dangles the aspect of ableism because the protagonist is uncertain whether a person such as herself coming from the black community could get an employment opportunity to sustain herself. Butler challenges ableist ideologies by discussing how the black community is less favoured in modern society. Conversely, Butler undermines ableism by critiquing how the lack of access to services, like education, keeps the black community from progressing. Butler criticizes how the black’s community discrimination prevents the nation from realizing its full potential and alleviating suffering.
Butler intersects ableism and gender in her depiction of how there are two separate belief systems. Butler presents vivid examples of how the black community is discriminated against in modern society. Regardless of this, there is a unique distinction when it comes to survival. In the black community, Butler presents a belief system where both men and women are expected to learn all skills. Survival is paramount, and there is no separation between what men and women learn. For instance, Butler presents a scenario where Lauren go out with his father and brothers to practice shooting. In Lauren’s community, shooting is fundamental for survival. On the other hand, shooting is not a skill that is evident in the white community. Butler intersects discrimination and gender by illustrating that those who are discriminated against see no gender difference when it comes to their survival. Everyone is expected to know how to adapt, as shown by Lauren’s transformation’ into a man.
To conclude, Butler challenges racist, sexist, and ableist ideologies throughout her book by depicting a modern society plagued by numerous issues. The black community is discriminated against because of colour and lack access to opportunities for progress. The modern society portrayed in Butler’s work also suffers from women’s stereotypical perception, which requires them to take drastic measures to survive. In connection with ableism, Butler challenges how disfavoring the black community drags the entire nation down. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower offers a captivating and engaging analysis of deeply rooted issues within America’s history.
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