Unraveling in Parable of the Sower

Throughout this course, something that we have discussed in depth if the idea that everything has to go somewhere.  The terms buildup and pressure have become essential to this course, in the idea that our actions, and the actions of others are not meaningless but will eventually lead to something.  This idea of pressure building was especially pertinent to The Big Short, where the buying and selling of subprime mortgage loans ultimately resulted in the stock market crashing, and consequentially, the housing crisis.  We have discussed how even the very act of reading a novel; turning the pages and seeing how much is left, is a type of buildup.

However, a line in Parable of the Sower made me think of buildup and pressure and a different way, which I think is very evident in today’s political climate.  From the chapter’s we have read so far, you can certainly track the buildup of violence in Lauren’s life and community.  At the beginning of the novel, Lauren is somewhat removed from the violence going on inside of and around the community.  In the chapters that we just read, this violence begins to hit a bit more close to home as it results in the loss of her brother and possibly her father.  However, Lauren does not seem to think of the escalated violence in her community as buildup, which will eventually lead to some catastrophic event, but instead describes it as a kind of unravelling.  She reflects, “I’ve changed my mind.  I used to wait for the explosion, the big crash, the sudden chaos that would destroy the neighborhood.  Instead, things are unraveling, disintegrating bit by bit” (123).

If we think about the buildup of violence in the way that Lauren does, as a kind of unraveling, this can be even scarier than one singular catastrophic event, because it is happening so slowly that often times people do not even realize it.  For example, Lauren’s friend Joanne thinks that Lauren is being overly paranoid about the presence of danger in their community, because it is happening so slowly that she does not see it as a real threat.  However, I think it is important to remember that just because the unravelling may happen slowly, instead of all at once, does not mean that it is any less real or dangerous.

I think that this idea of an unraveling, rather than a catastrophic event, applies a lot to our current political climate, specifically in the context of climate change.  Unlike some of the apocalyptic films that we have briefly viewed in class, there is most likely not going to be one singular catastrophic event, where the planet suddenly becomes disastrous and the human race is wiped out.  However, these damages to the climate happen slowly and over time, which is why it is easy for many to ignore that this unraveling is happening at all.  However, similarly to how Lauren and Joanne soon realize that this unraveling is real and happening, I think that it will become more and more difficult for people to ignore.

I feel like this post went in a lot of different directions but I hope this wasn’t too confusing!  I would like to explore this concept more in the last few weeks of this course.

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