The Parable of the Sower: Exploring Estrangement from Literacy

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The Parable of the Sower: Exploring Estrangement from Literacy

Research Questions

Research questions are always the underlying factors for the creation of a good project proposal (White 33). They provide the guidance through which a researcher should be working and as such act as the foundation for every research. Meeting the objectives requires that an individual answers all the research questions succinctly and with discretion. In this case, the research questions would be vital as they line out the factors that have led to estrangement in the Octavia’s The Parable of the Sower. They act as the windows to the hidden estrangement that would otherwise require significant literary appreciations to explain. The research questions also accord the readers/target audience the opportunity to ponder and engage their literary knowledge into trying to predict the research pattern.

They are hence brief statements that seek the opinion of the reader and clarity of the researcher in pointing out literacy as a significant factor to estrangement in the novel. To the audience, the questions should project the research ideas as proposals that are subject to discerning or even conception if convinced otherwise by the development of the research. The research questions, on the other hand, are purpose statements that should be met by the writer as they challenge his thinking and development of the entire research. In a sense, the questions ensure that there are no loopholes in the research.

In this research, they are used to create a pattern and path that should be followed by the writer to clarify that illiteracy can be significantly factored as estrangement. Most of the characters in the novel are illiterate individuals who are committed to participating in atrocities and other cruel events. Significantly, they wouldn’t need education to take part in the conducts. However, it is the norm that more violent behaviors are associated with illiteracy. Right from the onset of the novel, the characters are estranged from literacy, a factor that throws them even further into the abyss of confusion as they commit to perpetrating crimes.

Estrangement from literacy is an important argument as it exploits other factors that have not been explored by other literary scholars. It provides the insight that people can be separated from many things as well including emotions and the abstract, and as such clarifies that estrangement is not limited to humans and other physical aspects alone. The perception creates a new dimension of literary appreciation as it drives it beyond the ordinary and creates an argument that is hidden and had to reach and in its way, a literary abstract. It is in a manner spurs a reader into action to consider all dimensions of literacy appreciation and not limit reasoning to ordinary factors (White, 33).

Project Completion

Developing and completing the research would require the selection of literary scholars who are well versed with information about the Parable of the Sower as participants. The group of participants who should conduct an adequate appreciation of a subject would then be presented with questionnaires that examine their perception on illiteracy in the project (Friesen, 49). Through the questionnaires, the difference between a story muddled with illiterate characters and a story free of such is exploited. The assumptions made from the information collected from the questionnaires would then be supported using literary articles that claim the same. Using an enormous population of participants would ensure that the information and ideologies collected is varied and adequate as there is a high likelihood of the participants having different ideas (Friesen, 49).

Information discredited would include those presented by participants who admit in the questionnaires that their knowledge about the novel is inadequate. The questions presented in the questionnaires will be closed-ended to limit the contribution to matters that are significant to the illiteracy/literacy factors in the novel. Contrasting ideas will be taken into consideration to examine the loopholes that might render the research project insignificant. The use of a questionnaire would not be significant as the topic in discussion would not prompt the participants to lie.

Literature Review

More of the critical analysis if the novel has been done by authors who are accredited with writing for some of the well-known literature journals. Such authors would provide a significant contribution to the research as they have endeavored to explore and analyze the story. For instance, Melzer, explores the significance of the utopian world and how Butler has embraced it to develop her novel (1). Addressing the utopian factors, Melzer examines the abstract issues in literature. Brown and Thomasania, also explain the important matters that readers should take note of in the novel (1). In the process, they also make the revelation of the significance of illiteracy in the story.

Other sources would be credible websites that air articles that have been authored by individuals with literary intellect. Kannan explores that persons who have embraced education and were literate are the effectors of salvation (1). They act as the solvers to the problems that plague the gated community. The authors jointly point to Lauren’s role in educating her group of friends. In a sense, they attribute Lauren’s leadership qualities to her education and imply that the most other community members have estranged themselves from education/literacy. The manner in which the authors have explored the story significantly points to the Octavia’s exploration of illiteracy to equip her story with taste and thrill.


The project is an educative undertaking that aspires to clarify and project some of the underlying literary facts in the Parable of the Sower. Reason for conducting it in large scale is to ensure that the information presented is comprehensive and that there is a broad basis of the argument. Sampling of populations to come up with an appropriate group of participants that would help with proving the argument requires funding. As such, the proposal is targeted to Dr. Kate Boyd, who is the literature professor. The professor would then review it and present it to the school board for funding approval.

Writing Format

The proposal will be a formal undertaking and as such would follow a formal format. As such, there would be an executive summary that summarizes the project and the projects the plot of the entire project (Miner, Jeremy and Lynn 41). Subsequently, there would be the introductory part that provides the insight into the entire proposal. The methodology part would explore the designs that are intended for conducting the project and collecting information. Literature review would be the next part and would explore the authors that have made similar or related contributions in the same field. The last parts would examine the expected results from the project.

Works Cited

Melzer, Patricia. ““All That You Touch You Change: Utopian Desire and the Concept of Change            in Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents”.” Femspec 3.2   (2012). Femspec. Femspec. Web. <>.

Brown, Re Gena, and Thomasania Craft. “Teaching African American Literature | Octavia           Butler.” Teaching African American Literature | Octavia Butler. ASCD, 6 May 2009.         Web. 3 Mar. 2015. <>.

Friesen, Bruce K. Designing and Conducting Your First Interview Project. San Francisco:            Jossey-Bass, 2010. Internet resource.

Kannan, Ashley. “How Did Illiteracy Effect the Gated Community and Everyone Else outside of             the Walls? Did Illiteracy Make the People… – Homework Help –”  , 24 Nov. 2013. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.      <       everyone-464485>.

Miner, Jeremy T, and Lynn E. Miner. Models of Proposal Planning & Writing. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2005. Print.

White, Patrick. Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists. Basingstoke          [England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print.

Cognitive Estrangement in the Parable of the Sower


Non-realist writers have used science to provide a taste for their works as they endeavor to explore a sophisticated realm of writing. The ability to conjure fictitious events that also contradict the perceptions already be held in the present world requires great art and mastery of the terrain of literature. Such is the mastery that has been exhibited by Octavia Butler in her Parable of the Sower as she aspires to explore cognitive estrangement alongside other themes in literature. The novel has been written with such knacks and enthusiasm that make it easy to embrace even the factors that are divorced from normal conceptions as normalcy.

In the novel, Nova has been set up to project the possibilities of the future by exploiting the weaknesses of the present. With characters developed around actions that are considered as abnormal, the Parable of the Sower seeks to necessitate the significance of the factors that have been labeled as ‘sick’ in the normal world. Cognitive estrangement has come out as a vital thematic tool that even clarifies the difference between the good that should be considered as normal, and the psychopath actions that require counseling. In the novel, as in the realistic world, Octavia uses nova to contradict beliefs and set new trends that significantly recreate the pattern of beliefs.

Such kind of literary developments often spur scholars to critical thinking as they aspire to evaluate the developments in the plot. As such, non-realist writers, through their authored material, oversee the marriage between literary appreciation and critical. That is because to decipher the content and morals of the non-realistic fiction requires more than meets the eye as such are easy to pick out. Critical thinking is very important as it enables the appreciation that examines even the abstract content of a material of literature, and the presentation of the fewer obvious facts. The Parable of the Sower has not been left behind in this aspect as it is muddled with theories that explain human interactions and behavior.

This research paper endeavors to critically explore Octavia’s novel and unearth the science behind the literature. It will also elaborate the relationship of scientific matters projected as Nova, and the normal human behavior. The research paper considers all the contradictions between the normal world and the scientific world that have been forecasted in the novel. The cognitive estrangement factors and the supporting evidence have been explored and elaborated. In a sense, this research paper explores the interesting factors in the novel and provides the insight for an in-depth analysis of the plot and its development. The paper aspires to act as the bridge between the ordinary and the exemplary in the novel.

Cognitive Estrangement

On one hand, to be estranged is to be divorced from or to possess an idea that does not have the likelihood to be interrelated as what is considered normalcy (James 118). Cognitive, on the other hand, is very much an interpretation of perception that may be held by a writer or an author. Cognitive Estrangement implies the creation of a perception that contradicts empirical reality by an author (Wald 1908). However, such ideas are always only divorced from the moment but oft appear as applicable in the future. In a sense, cognitive estrangement is the projection of a scientifically conceivable idea but one that is yet too far to be considered reality by an author’s targeted audience. Literary art.............

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