Parable of the Sower

by Octavia E. Butler

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When Lauren's group gets to the commercial water station, she helps a family whose water is being stolen by a pair of thugs. Why does she help them?

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Part of the reason why Lauren helps out the woman and her baby is because of her hyperempathy.  Throughout the narrative, it is clear that Lauren possesses a sense of empathy with others.  She understands their pain and understands their predicament.  It is in this light where a woman with a child being subjected to violence and theft would awaken the empathy of any person.  Lauren's hyperempathy is even more pronounced at such a moment.

From a larger and more cosmic view, Lauren's embraces a perspective that advocates solidarity amongst human beings.  She has shown herself to be fundamentally different than the world around her because she believes in community and helping other people.  Her desire to start an Earthseed community is driven in large part because of her commitment to a larger vision of reality.  This totalizing notion advocates helping others.  Lauren would not turn from her commitment to others in the moment where the mother and her infant are under siege from thugs.  Lauren recognizes that she has a fundamental responsibility to offer help when she can.  In honoring this, she almost feels obliged to help out the woman in need.  It is this quality that enables Lauren to envision a new world, one that is the opposite of the world around her.  Due to this, Lauren feels that she almost has  to help the woman in need.

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