20 Feb. 2016
Science Fiction: A Tangible Future?
Personally, I have never been a huge fan of the typical science fiction novel or movie. My interests have always leaned more towards fiction that has an element of fantasy to it but is also realistic and tangible. Things that are more likely to happen, rather than things that would typically happen in science fiction, like an alien invasion, for example. (Because we need to face it, although it is likely that there is some type of alien life in the universe, we as a whole should not be so self-centered as to believe that the invasion of Earth is the first and only thing on their mind.) The thing about Parable of the Sower that I have never experienced with other science fiction reads or films, like Blade Runner or A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is a tangible future, something that has an actually possibility of happening. There is a real chance that America could in the future blunder and end up being similar to the state of the world in Parable. Also there is a realness to Lauren and her coming-of-age story that I think students just coming into their own as well can understand and relate to. Parable mixes the two genres of science fiction and dystopia, which I think students comprehend and appreciate much more that pure, hard science fiction.
In my teaching career I have found so far that the only thing that will keep a middle or high school student’s attention are things that they find a high level of interest in. At that age what are they more interested in other than themselves? They are constantly striving to understand who they are and to find like-minded peers. Sometimes they will find these peers in characters in a novel and end up relating to the traits and qualities they share with them. They may even grow to idolize these heroic characters. There are books required in public school curriculum, like The Giver, that provides this kind of character for students, but Parable gives its audience something a little different from the norm. This is because Lauren, instead of just falling by chance into the lead role, strives to be a leader in the novel. From the beginning Lauren has an extremely strong personality for her age, possibly because of her sharing abilities, and seeks out ways to be a prophet for others through Earthseed. I would like to find other strong male or female leads that openly seek to be the lead of the novel instead of falling into it by happenstance.