Professor M.J Toswell
November 12 , 2012
Parable of The Talents:
The Future is Now
Question: Is the world that Acorn exists in the world we live in today?
By nature, humans are a very curious species. We are curious about what lies
beyond the stars and we are even more curious about what lies beyond the horizon.
However, since we have no idea what our future will be like, we have to use characters
and symbols of our present in order to create a believable future. In the novel Parable of
the Talents by Octavia E. Butler, this happens with the presence ofAndrew Steele Jarret
as well as the use of ‘News Bullets’and current world technologies. Through the use of
these three elements, Butler uses familiarization to create a future that the reader is able
to believe in without it being too other-worldly or fantastical.
In recent history, the United States ofAmerica has seen its’share of eccentric
leaders and religious fanatics hoping to make a lasting mark across the country. When
reading through the novel, I could not help but imagineAndrew Steele Jarret as the result
of taking George W. Bush plus the Westboro Baptist Church and blending them together.
The reader is first introduced to Jarret on page nineteen and told that:
He wants to take us back to some magical time when everyone believed in the
same God, worshipped him in the same way, and understood that their safety in the [Type text] [Type text] [Type text] 2
universe depended on completing the same religious rituals and stomping anyone
who was different.
Reading this description of Jarret’s belief system, one cannot help but conjure images of
religious fanatics protesting, or some of the outlandish things thatAmerica’s forty-third
president said during his time in office. The reader eventually learns that Jarret was able
to win the election and upon taking office, declares that “we are God’s people, or we are
filth! We are God’s people or we are nothing! We are God’s people! God’s people!” (88).
These kind of hate driven lines alm