Parable of the Sower
Objective: Demonstrate the ability to use different ideological perspectives and analyses on the same figure (one character) and evaluate this figure through these perspectives.
What does this mean? Show me you can see the world through completely different lenses by analyzing one character several different ways.
The Parable of the Sower is a novel that explores concepts of social Darwinism, dystopia, corruption, greed, corporatism, faith, and survival. It is a novel that presents a chilling look at what happens when the society that we have come to rely upon turns against us. The story lets us look at what happens when society and faith fail, but also how they can be reborn again. This is a novel that actively resists being easily
categorized, and each major character can be analyzed in a variety of ways.
In a 5 page, MLA format essay, analyze and deconstruct one character from The Parable of the Sower using at least 4 different lenses or ISMs and then argue which lens offers the most accurate reading of that character. This means that you
will look at a character and explore how he/she can be interpreted using different ideologies, and then argue which lens or viewpoint is most valid. You will need to reference the novel, and you may only use a dictionary as an outside source. No other research is permitted in this essay. You have a multitude of characters to analyze, and you need to focus on being able to show how using different lenses results in a widely different interpretation of the same character.
The most important part of this assignment is that you stay with the same character andanalyze the behavior, thoughts, and actions of that character through different perspectives. From one angle, Keith is a brave, smart boy who tries to survive in the best way while from another viewpoint, he is a selfish, foolish boy.
This is not an essay about how the character uses these lenses but rather how someone looking at the character would evaluate you them based on specific lenses.
This is what a much stronger body paragraph would like in this essay: EXAMPLE
From a free-market capitalist perspective, Keith is a noble character that understands that success is the personal responsibility of each individual. In Parable of the Sower, Keith is not content to live within the poorer confines of Robledo where a codependent system of sharing economic burdens keeps all people restrained. Keith breaks from this and escapes to Los Angeles to make his own money and his travel his own path. While Keith is still young, he understands that he has a key skillset that will allow him to succeed in creating his own wealth: Because I can read and writenone of them can. Theyre all older than me, but not one can read or write. They stole all this great stuff and they couldnt even use it (Butler 93). Here, we can see that Keith has found an economic niche that he can fill within the criminal system of Los Angeles. He uses his education to create a specific position where he earns a profit and access to luxury goods by being able to set up complicated electronics, something far beyond the abilities of his gang. This is a wonderful example of personal volition and market analysis by Keith as he sees a specific need in the system and he provides that need to his own success. While stealing may be considered wrong, Keith is not in fact stealing anything, simply providing a service where one does not exist. Keith would not have been able to create such a position for himself in Robledo, and it is only through his choice to abandon the neighborhood that he is able to exercise his own intelligence and determination to generate his own success. This is why Keith is a noble character as he understands that his success is his own responsibility, and he does not look to others to help him generate his wealth.
This body paragraph is much stronger as it addresses the three weaknesses present in the first paragraph.
It is actually directly addressing the assignment by providing a free-market capitalist perspective on Keith, not trying to argue how Keith is a free-market capitalist. It is also focusing on a specific piece of textual evidence and analyzing that evidence.
It is not trying to talk about everything Keith does, but instead, it focuses on a specific moment to analyze to prove evidence in its position. Third, it is a bit more properly copy-edited and following MLA.
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