The Problem With the Past

Like Kelsey, I was also reminded of Donald Trump when reading Parable of the Sower, especially when they were discussing presidential candidate Donner and his scary, dated ideas. In reference to Donner, Lauren said something that really struck me “…like a symbol of the past for us to hold on to as we’re pushed into the future. He’s nothing. No substance”(56). Make America great again strikes me as this very idea. This fraudulent view of the past as perfect. Trump in and of himself represents nothing, he has no substance but it is this idea of the past that makes him so alluring to people. In Parable of the Sower, you have a candidate who claims to want to advance the country and address the problems they are facing but rather his ideas are all dated and useless. The message I got from this scene was clinging to the past gets you nothing because the past is dead. There is no past point in time where everyone was treated equally and in this I see Butler making the point that clinging to your past as this ideal time does you damage, it makes you blind to what is in front of you, to what you could be doing NOW to improve your life. I find Lauren refreshing because she is strong, she doesn’t buy into this hopeless wish for the past and the scare tactics used to make her fearful of the future but instead, faces it head on.


U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the USS Iowa in San PedroButler, Octavia E. Parable of the Sower. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993. Print.


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