(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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.)