Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower

Mars is a rock—cold, empty, almost airless, dead. Yet it's heaven in a way. We can see it in the night sky, a whole other world, but too nearby, too close within the reach of the people who've made such a hell of life here on Earth. 21

I began writing this about Mrs. Sims because she killed herself. That's what upsets me. She believed, like Dad, that if you kill yourself, you go to hell and burn forever. She believed in a literal acceptance of everything in the Bible. Yet, when things got to be too much for her, she decided to trade pain for eternal pain in the hereafter.

How could she do that?

Did she really believe in anything at all? Was it all hypocrisy?

Or maybe she just went crazy because her God was demanding too much of her. She was no Job. In real life, how many people are? 24

We'll have to be very careful how we allow our needs to shape us. 224