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The Eleusinian Mysteries of Octavia E. Butler: The Mother-Daughter Struggle in Parable of the Talents | Jennifer Brissett

It is unclear if Octavia E. Butler purposefully embedded the Eleusinian myth—or the myth of Demeter and Persephone—into Parable of the Talents, yet I find it almost impossible that she did not consider it consciously. Far too many coincidences point towards the myth in Talents, and it fits too perfectly with the seed/sower themes of the two Parable novels.

The Eleusinian Mysteries were an oral tradition that were part of the initiation rites into the cult of Demeter, which began in the ancient city of Eleusis (Trckova-Flamee). These hidden rites—or Mysteries—were in existence long before the ancient Athenians arrived on the historical scene (Veronese). No one knows exactly what was said, but we do know that the story of Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, known then as Kore (the maiden), was recited. Yet Kore is more than just a “young girl,” she is an innocent.

Filed under Octavia Butler Afrofuturism Black Science Fiction Scifi Science Fiction Eleusinian Mysteries Parable of the Talents essay

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    Guess I should go read the Parable of the Talents… I finished The Parable of the Sower
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