PDF ☆ BOOK Parable of the Talents · NATURALTREATMENT

BOOK Parable of the Talents

PDF ☆ BOOK Parable of the Talents · NATURALTREATMENT ì A powerfully wrought novel describing an America permeated with violence religious persecution and the will to overcome such adversity Octavia E Butler's Parable of the Talents explores the large and small social ramifications of a group of survivors banding togePoints of view as well as Olamina's own self doubts and insecurities to present a much fuller and well rounded character and story Here once again is Octavia E Butler's enticing stew of varied human needs capacities weaknesses and enigmatic doctrines born from a constantly changing world The author knows how to compound elements into an intricate mixture of personal and civil uncertainties as well as ethical and emotional dilemmas Sociological situations underpinning science fiction have always been Butler's forte and this novel admirably continues that tradition The author is wonderfully skilled at capturing several underlying intertwined subtexts at once We are witness to a culture that is well acuainted with high technology but has great difficulty in replacing or producing anything new We visit a land that is familiar yet alien and in continuous flux There is real unease for the reader while waiting for the inevitable assault upon a new faith as the ugly bigoted era becomes even intolerant In Parable of the Talents the reader will discover an America that relies heavily on a past it can barely recall and behold the arrival of a horrifying but intriguing new dawn Octavia E Butler evokes a frightening future that eventually sprouts the compassion mercy and beauty of Earthseed Tom Piccirilli 4 and a half starsI did not want to wait too long between my reading of “Parable of the Sower” and the seuel “Parable of the Talents” The first book has a great momentum that made me very eager to find out the rest of Lauren’s story – even if the setting felt uncomfortably realisticThe manipulation of religion for the benefit of political advancement is something that has always been a huge problem for me and when good speculative writers toy with that idea it inevitably ends up freaking me out I’m referring to “The Handmaid’s Tale but also “The Acolyte” which took that idea down a pretty terrifying road Using religion to exacerbate the worst sides of a group of people until they are riled up to the point where they forget their faith was supposed to be based on love and start hurting other people is the most egregious manipulation of a good thing I can think of The very word “religion” means to “re link” or “re join” it is supposed to bring people together so as soon as it starts creating exceptions to ideas such as “love one another” it's missing the point In the second book of her “Earthseed” duology Octavia Butler drives that point home by adding two new voices to her narrative Lauren’s husband Bankole and their daughter LarkinAshaWe know early on that something terrible has happened to the small Earthseed colony founded by Lauren and her companion and my interweaving her journal’s Bankole’s notes and Larkin’s own writing Butler shows us a world that hasn’t gotten better since the end of “Parable of the Sower” If anything things have gotten much worse and a hate mongering religious fanatic new president works his followers into an increasingly violent frenzy I will not give any of the plot away but this is a gripping story about resilience and survival in the face of oppression and destructionI have to admit that I got kind of annoyed with the Earthseed “gospel” or whatever you want to call those little poems and texts that punctuate the book There were fewer in “Parable of the Sower” but here it got on my nerves as there are plenty and they are not especially well written nor inspiring The religious system created by Lauren in and of itself doesn’t really bother me as it’s based in practicality and tangible reality things change constantly and we must support each other through these changes That’s a big fat “duh” for me but I can also see why it bears repeating But her preachiness gets tiring which is why this book is stronger for having than one narrator who are well aware that Lauren’s convictions were strong and important but could also be rather grating Larkin’s voice comes to balance out her mother righteousness with the wisdom of regrets and hindsight – but also a certain admiration for the work done by this determined womanThe balance between hope and despair is not easy to maintain but just as she did in the first tome of her duology Butler doesn’t let her readers sink no matter how bleak things get In fact as hard as it can be to read sometimes it is also strangely comforting to think of Lauren’s perseverance and strengthDoes it freak anyone else out that Butler wrote this in 1998? Not unlike the aforementioned “Handmaid’s Tale” this work of fiction’s prescience is alarmingly accurate we are currently experiencing the slow erosion of the world as we knew it and we have no idea what the next few years have in store for us And her President Jarret might have brain cells to rub together than Trump does but the tone is eerily alike I did find the way Lauren perceives Jarret’s supporters and what ultimately motivates them very interesting there are very thought provoking parallels to be drawn between them and a certain segment of American votersJust as good as its predecessor this book is a must read now than ever

Octavia E. Butler Ï Parable of the Talents PDF

A powerfully wrought novel describing an America permeated with violence religious persecution and the will to overcome such adversity Octavia E Butler's Parable of the Talents explores the large and small social ramifications of a group of survivors banding together in faith to prevail against anarchy Butler gives us a well proportioned fusion of near future struggle and subtle science fiction all layered upon an engaging groundwork of human courage spiritual doctrine enslavement and savagery in an anarchistic AmericaIn 2032 five years after losing her family and setting out on a uest to find peace in a chaotic land Lauren Oya Olamina has gathered than 60 people in the self sufficient community called Acorn Olamina an African American hyper empath a person who can feel others' pain so intensely it is often incapacitating is the creator and prophet for the new religion called Earthseed God is Change is Earthseed's basic belief; the religion teaches personal harmony and the hope of one day reaching the stars To that end the verses in Olamina's Books of the Living give understanding to a perpetually shifting world of mistrust slavery disorder and government sanctioned witch hunts After years of separation Olamina discovers that her teenage brother Marcus has also survived; she immediately welco Much More Than Sci FiNeither nor the Library of Congress has a classification in which The Parable of the Talents fits easily So it typically gets dumped into science fiction by default But while the book does take place in the future and extrapolates some of the possible conseuences of things like climate change and computer controlled weaponry there is nothing unrecognisable as probably existing on somebody's drawing board somewhere There is certainly no typical sci fi bending of the rules of Newtonian physics or speculation about time travel or revolutionary technology The Parable of the Talents is in fact as the title suggests a work of theology specifically political theology the study of the link between community and individual belief And although it overtly criticises evangelical Christianity particularly the militant American brand its target is really the monotheistic religions of the world notably Judaism Christianity and Islam not because they are monotheistic but because they are dogmatic and conseuently sectarian and therefore useful for political manipulation especially in modern democracies The tale that Butler spins in 1998 is eerily prescient of not just Donald Trump and his collusion with the American evangelical Right but of Vladimir Putin's manipulation of Russian Orthodoxy and any number of Muslim politicians' tactics from Turkey to Indonesia Monotheism at least in its dogmatic forms is clearly susceptible to political co optation from Moses to Constantine to Khomeini It may not be obvious to those outside the theological community that the great monotheistic religions are heresies of each other All other religions are merely pagan The Christian Trinity is a polytheistic heresy to Judaism and Islam Muslim views of Jesus are variants of the Arian heresy of the 3rd century Jewish rejection of Jesus as than a not untypical rabbinic preacher is also a heretical rejection of the Christian doctrine of supersessionism which claims that the Christian Church is the true Israel The theological complexity of all dogmatic religion is such that each of these distinguishing heresies as it were promote further differences and ultimately conflicts and schisms within each major religion ad infinitum Butler is acutely aware of the role of monotheistic religion in the creation of her American dystopia and in its reconstruction Her main character is descended from a fundamentalist Baptist minister; her brother is a congenital religious fanatic It is the diversity of dogmatic views that has caused in the first instance the disintegration of the American polity and is in the second the rationale for the election of a dictator and the violent persecution of all who do not the doctrinal position of this Trump like figure and his sympathisersThe spine of the novel introducing each chapter and referred to continuously throughout is the 'new faith' of Earthseed which is the invention or if you prefer the revelation of the protagonist as an antidote to dogmatic monotheism and its conseuences There are historical allusions to Ann Lee the Shaker leader who brought that proto feminist faith of Northern England to America and to Carl Jung the Swiss psychiatrist whose life long concern was the primal religion that appears perennially throughout the world in various symbolic manifestations But the main influence on Butler is clearly the so called Process Theology that was developed originally by Alfred Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne in the 1920's and 1930's The central insight of Process Theology one can hardly call it a dogma is that it is an essential attribute of God to affect and be affected by temporal processes Although not consistent with some developed theology this insight is not at odds with the fundamental scriptures of any of the monotheistic religions which all present an acting feeling mutable God who apparently learns about human beings as they learn about Him Process Theology does not deny various monotheistic tenets such as divine eternity omnipotence or even the immutability of the 'core' of God as it were It just doesn't care about these dogmatic issuesButler presents her theology in the form of a poem which develops as her story unfolds a poem that Whitehead and Hartshorne would not I am sure be ashamed to have written A single verse is enough to give the substance of the piece All that you touch You change All that you Change Changes you The only lasting truth is Change God is Change Change for Butler is not a fetish such as that proposed by current day management consultants and psychological improvement merchants Change is simply that which is inevitable and necessary for life divine as well as human We shape change which shapes us This includes of course the shape we mould God into which certainly in turn affects the shape we assumeThe fashion for Process Theology comes and goes with hemlines but it has become an abiding force in academic religious thinking and affects many of the mainstream schools of theological thought The fact that it is a somewhat esoteric discipline means that its relevance for practical affairs isn't immediately apparent uite apart from its literary value which is considerable Butler's work is important because it makes explicit both a fundamental issue in American indeed modern European and Middle Eastern society namely the religious foundation of national unity and a way in which that issue can be dealt with in an intellectual but practical way For this achievement alone her brilliance must not be under appreciated

TEXT É Parable of the Talents Ï Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the TalentsMes him to Acorn As an unseasoned Christian preacher Marcus is suspicious of the cultlike aspects of Earthseed and grows and distant from its ideals Now that Olamina is newly pregnant Bankole Olamina's much older physician husband wishes to find a established township in which to practice medicine and protect his familyHowever soon a fundamentalist Christian named Jarret is elected president of the United States and his insistence on burning non Christian churches and murdering those of other faiths becomes very popular Acorn is attacked the women raped the men killed and all survivors are enslaved But Olamina eventually escapes and sets out to recover her friends and family and rebuild Earthseed Parable of the Talents is written in a composite of narratives from Olamina's journals Bankole's memoirs and Marcus's own accounts Just as importantly there are sections from Olamina's unborn daughter who writes commentary at a much later date; this allows for a complete vision of Earthseed as religious political and humanistic methodology Olamina is willing to put the destiny of Earthseed above her own life and the lives of her family which at times makes her nearly the single minded zealot that Jarret is Rather than presenting Olamina as a perfect spiritual leader Butler allows us multiple outside “We learn and about the physical universe about our own bodies technology but somehow down through history we go on building empires of one kind or another then destroying them in one way or another We go on having stupid wars that we justify and get passionate about but in the end all they do is kill huge numbers of people maim others impoverish still spread disease and hunger”The above passage is the essence of what Octavia Butler wanted to communicate with her Earthseed duology — of which Parable of the Talents is the concluding volume — I think The previous book Parable of the Sower sets the dystopian — almost post apocalyptic — scene for the two books; it depicts the decline of civilization and the heroine Lauren Oya Olamina’s struggle to survive and find a safe place to settle down and build a community that will help revive human civilization and also move it forward At the end of Parable of the Sower Lauren has founded a community called Acorn which she intends to form the foundation of her “Earthseed” project with an ultimate goal of space colonization for mankind Parable of the Talents continues directly with this state of affairs The year is now 2032 and the Acorn community continues to grow with new hungry and homeless travelers drifting in and the community has begun trading with nearby communities The Earthseed project is beginning to take root with Lauren’s leadership and business acumen when it is suddenly invaded by government sponsored religious fanatics called “The Crusaders” a tacitly approved faction of “The Church of Christian America” ruling the US This happens around the middle of the book and begins the second phase of the storyline where the Acorn residents are captured enslaved and tortured by the Crusaders zealots This section of the book is a harrowing read due to the vivid depiction of the Acorn people being violently abused by the Crusaders they are forced to wear which can cause tremendous pain at the touch of a button on a remote control All the women — including Lauren — are raped by their captors How Lauren and her friends end their imprisonment will have readers cheering Then we move on to the final section of the book which I won't elaborate on at all Suffice it to say that the book ends very well and should leave most readers fully satisfiedI really want to rate parable of talents 5 stars because it is an excellent novel and a well deserved the Nebula Award winner but I can't do that in good conscience as I do have one minor issue with it Lauren’s Earthseed religion is fine as an idea it differs from most religions in that it has no supernatural elements in its teaching a sort of atheistic religion if that is not an oxymoron Still it does reuire a lot of faith from its followers with its long term goal of interstellar emigration The issue I have with this book is with the freuent litany of “God is Change” and several less than convincing passages from Lauren’s “Earthseed The Books Of The Living” which is basically their bible My issue probably has to do with my aversion to litanies than any misstep on Butler's part Her prose is as powerful as ever Octavia Butler’s ability to develop believable characters in just a few paragraph is as impressive as ever For example “Len is a likable person to work with She learns fast complains endlessly and does an excellent job however long it takes Most of the time she enjoys herself The complaining was just one of her uirks”In just a few lines this Len is made to seem like a real living and breathing person Lauren is of course badass even without any martial arts skills her indomitable will practically jump off the page With her baby daughter stolen by The Crusaders and being beaten and raped “It was all I could do not to fold up among the rows of plants and just lie there and moan and cry But I stayed upright”Curiously I tend to picture Lauren Oya Olamina as looking rather like Octavia Butler herself — based on the author's photos — with her strong features intelligent and kind face Parable of the Talents is a riveting thought provoking and at times harrowing read it should be read after Parable of the Sower though if you insist on reading this second volume first you should have no problem following it but it's a bit like reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before The Adventures of Tom Sawyer you just won't get the full effect If you have already read Parable of the Sower — and like it — I would recommend that you don't leave too long a gap before starting on Parable of the Talents not than say 3 4 months This is so you don't lose your familiarity with the characters and the emotional investment you may have made in their story Whatever you do read them both Come to think of it read all the Octavia Butler books you can get your mitts on because there are only a few of them and she is no longer with us Her soul was too beautiful for this world '45 stars rating then half a star knocked off for the litany I still rounded it up to 5 graphical stars though because Octavia Butler is my sci fi ueenNotes• Butler planned uite a few volumes for this series which would have dealt with space colonization — and no doubt a lot of heartaches Unfortunately she never got around to it • In this interview with Ms Butler talks about the two Earthseed books and her other works• YA Dystopian fiction is — for some reasons — all the rage these days but for me a great dystopian novel should be about than good looking teens hacking and slashing In all fairness The Hunger Games probably has depth than what I have gleaned from the first book I haven't read the others but this is all that have taken from it The nuances — if they are there — did not reverberate with me As for the numerous Hunger Games knock offs I have no time for them The two Earthseed books are much substantial the adventures slicing and dicing are there but there is so much to it and it even rings true• Seems like Octavia Butler may have predicted Trump's potential presidency with this book For once I hope she is wrong