Reading Parable of the Sower, I see as Lauren is forced on the road, how well she puts her knowledge into good use as well as how fortunate she is as she makes allies well she picks up new knowledge in the outside world. Already before her neighborhood burned down, Lauren had to be careful on who to trust. It is mentioned multiple times in the book how her father has to teach her how to hide her hyperempathy, or how she described it in page 191, her sharing on one’s pain. Also, previously, Keith faked being injured using red ink for blood to make Lauren bleed (page 11), so Lauren had to be careful to trust her own family. So, as she traveled north to try to survive, comes across allies for whom she could trust, while at the same time, being careful on what information to share.
When she came across Harry and Zahra, they stuck together, as they are the remaining members for their community and former lives that they could find are alive. Thanks to Lauren preparing herself for the possibility of if she needed to survive on her own, she manage to escape her burning home with supplies as well as money her family hidden away from thieves. Because she “had risked stopping to grab jeans, a sweatshirt, and shoes as well as” her “emergency pack”(page 161) thanks to her “self-administered training”, she was able to make herself better off than if she had gotten herself to escape with nothing but the clothes off her back. With Harry, Zahra, and Lauren, the trio was safe enough to travel without too much trouble as, done and proven many times previously in the book, there is strength in numbers. As proven in the book, during one of their nights camping outside, the trio was attacked in the middle of the night by two men. If Lauren had been alone, she would be no match. However, thanks each person of the trio taking shifts staying awake for danger, Harry was able to fight off and kill one of the men while Lauren, in her own words, “took a small granite boulder from our fire pit, set my teeth, and brought it down with all my strength on the back of the intruder’s head” to save Harry. Though Lauren is strong to take out a man like that, staying as a group to protect each other or alert one another to sticky situations helped them keep alive during their travels.
As Lauren traveled, she learned new things that she stored away as mental notes as well as share certain things with the group she traveled with. For example, after saving a couple’s baby from a pack of dogs, Lauren learns that “prone was a good shooting position for” her (page 209). This is useful as even though her hyperempathy may knock her down after shooting, harming, or killing someone, she will still be able to defend both herself and others. Also, it means that she’ll be able to shoot someone even if she fallen. She told her group about her hyperempathy, something she makes sure to keep to herself as much as possible. While she was unsure about doing this, telling them helped in the long run as it helped the group to understand each other better. It especially helped Lauren as Zahra, who lived on the streets before being brought in by her gated community before it burned down, told her “You ain’t got nothing wrong with you, Lauren-nothing worth worrying about. That Paracetco shit was baby milk.”(page 193) This is especially encouraging following up from her rambling about how much worse babies are born from crack-using mothers. When describing the drug Lauren’s mother was using to baby milk, it made the drug sound less serious or significant, and thus, made Lauren’s situation sound less strange, less horrible, and less shameful. It made Lauren feel normal as well as feel more comforted by Zahra.