Parable of the Sower Discussion Questions

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

'Parable of the Sower' is a science fiction novel written by Octavia Butler and published in 1993. This book is written at a reading level suitable for middle and high school students.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

In Parable of the Sower, author Octavia Butler tells a fictional story of empathy, hope among desolation, and the role of faith. The book is set in the year 2020 but talks about many issues people face in the 21st century. The book is appropriate for students in grades 7-12. This discussion guide should be used after students have finished reading the book.

Plot Questions

  • What happens to Lauren's family? What did you feel when you read this? Why do you think she was spared?
  • Day-to-day life in the setting of the book is less than ideal. What does Butler say contributed to the deterioration of society?
  • What is the religion that Lauren follows? What are the main beliefs of this religion?
  • What are some of the challenges Lauren and her friends face as they are moving north? How do these challenges influence her new religion?
  • How does Lauren's hyper-empathy influence her ability to gain new followers for her religion?
  • There are many characters in this book. Other than Lauren, who do you think is the most important character? How does this person contrast her personality?

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