Parable of the Talents is American writer Octavia E. Butler’s 1998 science fiction novel. Butler presents her readers with a strong female protagonist in Larkin. Butler constantly shows the strength of her character even when the character cannot see it within themselves.
One important quote from Parable of Talents is when Butler’s protagonist Larkin reflects on her mother’s death in the prologue.
I have wanted to love her and to believe that what happened between her and me wasn't her fault. I've wanted that. But instead, I've hated her, feared her, needed her. I've never trusted her, though, never understood how she could be the way she was—so focused, and yet so misguided, there for all the world, but never there for me. I still don't understand. And now that she's dead, I'm not even sure I ever will. But I must try because I need to understand myself, and she is part of me. I wish that she weren't, but she is. In order for me to understand who I am, I must begin to understand who she was. That is my reason for writing and assembling this book.
Here the reader sees not only the doubt within Larkin but also her drive and determination.
Larkin’s strength and determination can also be seen in the following quote.
Somehow, I went on. "Not everyone in this country stands with Andrew Jarret," I said. "We know that. Jarret will pass, and we will still here. We know more about survival than most people. The proof is that we have survived. We have tools that other people don’t have, and that they need. The time will come again when we can share what we know." I paused, swallowed. "Stay well," I told them. “Take care of one another."
Larkin questions her own strength, but manages to show her conviction and compassion.
Larkin as a character is plagued with self-doubt, constant reflections and self-observations. She is aware of her own “bleak” outlook on things.
Uncle Marc on the other hand, had said without ever quite saying it that he preferred men sexually, but his church taught that homosexuality was a sin, and he chose to live by that doctrine. So he had no one. Or at least, I never knew him to have anyone. That looks bleak on the page, but we each chose our lives. And we had one another. We were a family. That seemed to be enough.
Even in her introspective musings about her family, she seems to take some small solace in the fact that she still has family.