—Ben Hollander (2 Eng. 1A Essay) Parable of the Sower:


Eng. 1A

—Ben Hollander (2



Essay Options for Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower:

Whichever option you choose, remember that I am asking for an essay or a piece of writing which is at least 5-6 pages long (if it needs to be longer, fine, as long as you do not repeat yourself).

It should be typed, double-spaced, stapled, numbered, titled, and in 12pt. font.

I will offer you a rubric for each of these essays, so that you have a foundation with which to organize your writing, if you need it.

Whichever option you choose, you should articulate an argument you are making about Octavia

Butler’s Parable of the Sower , and you should analyze the book to support your argument.

1) The Octavia Butler Research Project:

Imagine Octavia Butler wrote Parable of the Sower as if she were guided by a research question which the book consistently asks its readers to consider or confront or to argue over: What is that question?

Remember how, in class, we shaped these questions. Remember how we shaped them around some of the subjects which Butler addresses: community, religion, empathy, violence, poverty, sex, drugs, and so on….Remember how some of these subjects linked to each other.

You can develop any of the questions we shaped around these subjects, or you can shape something new. Please, however, let me check what you are doing. DON’T WRITE A


2) The Saul Alinsky/Octavia Butler Project:

Imagine Saul Alinsky had Butler’s character, Lauren Olamina, in mind when he wrote

Rules for Radicals: A Primer for Realistic Radicals . Similarly to how we did it in class, take a sustained claim from Alinsky’s book and show how Lauren Olamina acts it out through

Parable of the Sower

What is the claim? How does it apply to what Lauren is trying to accomplish as a community organizer? In what context does Alinsky address it (or why is it important for Alinsky in the context of the chapters you have read)?


The Community Organizer’s Project:

As a community organizer, you have researched a specific problem in your community (of interests) and you want to change it. You have also read Saul Alinsky and Octavia Butler.

Write a (5-6 page) proposal or letter on behalf of your community in which you state the issue, its background, and the nature of your proposal to change the situation.

Who is your audience? To whom are you writing? Why?

By referencing and analyzing Alinsy’s “rules” and Lauren’s actions in “Parables of the

Sower,” persuade your recipient of the process and purpose of your proposal. Use these other writer’s strategies to help you change the situation in your community (of interests). In other words, show that you can apply--to your specific problem--their principles, their practices, their steps taken towards changing the problem.