Lauren Olimina is the principal character of Parable of the Sower. Her father, the Reverend Robinson, and the middle-aged Taylor Franklin Bankole, whom she meets on the road, are the two most important other characters. Born in 2009, Lauren has four step-brothers, Greg, Ben, Marcus, and Keith, "the youngest and dumbest." She is unusually mature, is adept in cooking and sewing, and is as skilled with tools and guns, which her father requires her to learn about, as she is introspective, scholarly, a reader, and a writer. She is also a leader. She sees far in advance of events. Thus, she has a survival knapsack packed and ready when it comes time to flee into the dangerous "wilderness" beyond the walls of her home enclave, where the ruins of civilization and the depraved and degenerate underclass populations roam like packs of hyenas. She possesses a psi sense that forces her to feel the pain of others around her, exactly as they feel it. This becomes an asset when she is in the company of someone who is feeling good, such as a lover who is experiencing strong erotic feelings, which she may thereupon join to her own. She is, above all, driven by a powerful conviction that she has value. She is therefore an active proselytizer of the Earthseed philosophy/theology she creates.
Lauren's father, Reverend Olimina is the explicitly major source of Lauren's self esteem. He was to the end a man of faith and good will. He shared what he could get with...
(The entire section is 436 words.)
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Harry Balter is a young white man from the same neighborhood as Lauren. His girlfriend is his first cousin, Joanne Garfield, but they split up when the Garfield family moves to Olivar. Harry survives the violent attack on the neighborhood and is one of the original members of Lauren’s group. His new girlfriend is Zahra Moss. Harry is more trusting than Lauren, and on the road he has to learn to become more ruthless.
Taylor Franklin Bankole
Taylor Franklin Bankole is a fifty-seven-yearold black doctor who joins Lauren’s group halfway through their journey. Since he is much older than the others, he is able to give them steady advice and support. Bankole is from San Diego, and he left his community after it was destroyed by arson. Five years earlier, his wife died after being beaten by thieves. Bankole and Lauren are attracted to each other and soon become lovers. He tells Lauren that he is on his way to three hundred acres of land that he owns in the coastal hills of Humboldt County, California. He hopes to meet up with his sister and her family who live there. Lauren and the group make this their destination, but when they arrive, they find that the house has been destroyed and the family killed.
Dominic Douglas is the six-month-old son of Natividad and Travis.
Gloria Natividad Douglas
Gloria Natividad Douglas, known as Natividad, is a Hispanic woman, the wife of Travis Douglas and the mother of Dominic. This family joins Lauren’s group quite early in the trek. With her husband, Natividad used to work as a maid for a rich couple, but she ran away when the man tried to seduce her.
Travis Charles Douglas
Travis Charles Douglas is a black man, the husband of Natividad. He used to work as a handyman and gardener for a rich couple. Travis is suspicious of Lauren’s group at first but soon warms to them. He becomes interested in Lauren’s idea of Earthseed.
Amy Dunn is a three-year-old girl in Lauren’s neighborhood. She sets fire to the family garage. Later, she is accidentally shot dead.
Tracy Dunn is Amy Dunn’s sixteen-year-old mother. She was only twelve when her uncle made her pregnant with Amy. After Amy’s death, Tracy disappears and is never found.
Jay Garfield is the head of the Garfield family, who are friends with the Olaminas. Jay, who is white, leads the search for Lauren’s father after he disappears. Later he takes his family to the company town of Olivar.
Joanne Garfield is the daughter of Jay Garfield, the girlfriend of Harry Balter, and Lauren’s friend. Her friendship with Lauren cools when she divulges to her parents details of Lauren’s plan for survival. After that, Lauren does not trust her anymore. Eventually, Joanne moves to Olivar with her parents.
Allison Gilchrist, known as Allie, is Jillian’s twenty-five-year-old sister. After her father killed her baby because it would not stop crying, the two sisters burned the house down while the drunken father slept. Fleeing a life of prostitution and poverty, they took to the road. When Lauren’s group pulls Allie and Jill out of the rubble of a house hit by an earthquake, they join the group. Allie takes charge of Justin Rohr.
Jillian Gilchrist is Allison’s twenty-four-yearold sister. She shares Allie’s history of poverty and abuse. Neither she nor her sister can write, although they can read a little. Jill is shot dead when the group is attacked by a gang.
Bianca Montoya is a pregnant seventeen-yearold Latino girl in Lauren’s neighborhood. She plans to marry her boyfriend, Jorge Iturbe, and continue to live in the neighborhood.
Doe Mora is the eight-year-old daughter of Grayson Mora.
Grayson Mora is the Latino father of Doe Mora. He joins Lauren’s group toward the end of their trek. He is quiet, aloof from the group, but protective of his daughter. Like Lauren, he has hyperempathy syndrome....
(The entire section is 1739 words.)