Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 204
Parable of the Talents poses a hypothetical United States dystopia that has fallen victim to fundamentalist Christian doctrine. Under President Jarret, it replaces its foundational legal documents with literal interpretations of biblical texts. This drastic movement is made possible by white nationalist America's fear of losing its prestige and power. Though historical atrocities such as slavery are reinstituted, because of technology, the oppressed find novel ways, such as virtual reality headsets, to escape their conditions.
The protagonist, Acorn, is forced with other women into a labor camp. She manages to gain solidarity with a group of prisoners and kill their guards, escaping into hiding. At the novel's end, the utter hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of American voters is highlighted when they fail to reelect President Jarret after finding out he has supported witch burnings.
Their dogma having blinded them to a whole host of other atrocities playing out on larger scales, they are only dissuaded from an obviously violent political agenda when an action comes into direct conflict with their fundamentalist learning. At the novel's end, a rebel named Lauren succeeds in promoting an interstellar colony in Alpha Centauri, signaling a hope of creating a new national identity outside of America's history of oppression.
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