Parable of the Sower

Lauren’s Father (Reverend Olamina) Character Analysis

Lauren’s father is rarely referred to by name, and we never learn his first name. He is an African-American Baptist minister, college professor, and dean, who works at a college near his gated community in Robledo, California. He is a leader of the community and is ashamed of the fact that his ex-wife, Lauren’s mother, was a drug addict. His second wife, Cory, is a teacher. Together, they have four sons: Keith, Marcus, Gregory, and Bennett. Reverend Olamina is a wise, kind, and fair person. He has an exceptionally close relationship with Lauren, who calls him “the best man I know.” However, he also has limitations, which mainly lie in his resistance to confronting reality and wishful thinking about the world going back to the way it once was. One day, the reverend goes to work and never comes back. After a week of searching, he is presumed dead. Lauren’s mourning is made worse by the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to him.
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Lauren’s Father (Reverend Olamina) Character Timeline in Parable of the Sower

The timeline below shows where the character Lauren’s Father (Reverend Olamina) appears in Parable of the Sower. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...In her diary, Lauren Olamina writes that on the night before her 15th birthday and her father ’s 55th, she had one of her recurring dreams. In the dream, she is teaching... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Lauren admits that three years ago she stopped believing in her father ’s God and church, but that because she is a “coward” she is letting herself... (full context)
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...a city 20 miles away from Los Angeles that was once “unwalled” and “green.” After Lauren’s father ’s parents were murdered in 2010, he inherited their house, where he and his family... (full context)
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...open wounds, and festering sores, which makes it difficult for Lauren to be around them. Lauren’s father believes that she can choose to overcome her “hyperempathy” syndrome, and though Lauren admits that... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...candidates, Christopher Morpeth Donner, has promised to eradicate the space program if he is elected. Lauren’s father agrees with this policy and plans to vote for Donner. Lauren believes that space is... (full context)
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...up and raped her. They took all her cash and possessions, and Mrs. Sims begged Lauren’s father for help even though she didn’t like him because he had a Mexican wife. Two... (full context)
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...protection laws in order to end mass unemployment. Lauren worries about this, and notes that her father didn’t vote for Donner in the end—he couldn’t bring himself to vote at all. (full context)
Chapter 4
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...of Lauren’s neighborhood robbed Mrs. Sim’s house in the aftermath of her death, even after Lauren’s father assures them that they are a small community who depend on one another and thus... (full context)
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Lauren’s father encourages her to practice shooting birds and squirrels with BB guns. She suspects that he... (full context)
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...within the group, some of who are more afraid of feral dogs than others. Suddenly, Lauren’s father insists that they all go home. It is only later that Lauren learns it was... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...writes that Joanne told her mother about their conversation, and that the news got to Lauren’s father . Lauren is furious, but grateful that they at least didn’t discuss religion (though she... (full context)
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Lauren is angry, but decides to change the subject by asking if her father got back the book she lent to Joanne, about California plants and the way Native... (full context)
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Lauren’s father asks Lauren if she tried to persuade Joanne to run away, which is what Joanne’s... (full context)
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Lauren’s father then admits that Lauren’s idea about the earthquake packs is good, and promises that he... (full context)
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The next day, Lauren’s father preaches from the part of Genesis that describes Noah and the ark. After church, Joanne... (full context)
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That night, Lauren overhears her father and Cory discussing what they will do if they catch a thief. Lauren’s father says... (full context)
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...watch becomes official. Once a week, the watchers meet for shooting and martial arts practice. Lauren’s father takes all his books back from her, but she doesn’t mind as she has already... (full context)
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This causes another argument between Lauren’s father and Cory, who points out that the thieves could have easily killed someone. Lauren’s father... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...the price of food keeps rising. She wishes she could pack a gun and asks her father to let her keep one in her room, but he refuses. Lauren knows that her... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...Payne kids still come, even though their uncle Wardell has been saying rude things about Lauren’s father . Keith, who is almost 13, begged to come even though he knows he is... (full context)
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Soon, Lauren’s father shouts for her to come inside the house. Keith is lying on the kitchen floor,... (full context)
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...confess what he did at church and apologize to his parents, the community, and God. Lauren’s father does not hit him, but instead asks over and over how he could be so... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...that opens this chapter states that “all struggles are essentially power struggles.” On Keith’s birthday, Lauren’s father and Cory give him a BB gun. Keith shoots birds, threatens to shoot Marcus, and... (full context)
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...still no sign of Keith. Cory seems to believe that he is dead, and accuses Lauren’s father of not trying hard enough to find him, even claiming that he loves Lauren more... (full context)
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Two days later, Keith reappears without a scratch, wearing new clothes and shoes. Lauren’s father immediately destroys the BB gun, before viciously beating Keith. Afterward, Keith cries while Cory holds... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...and that he must be earning money through theft or selling drugs. Keith asks if their father has ever beat Lauren, and she admits that the last time he did was when... (full context)
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Two days later, Cory and Lauren’s father have to go downtown to identify Keith’s body. Lauren is unable to write for three... (full context)
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Lauren’s father asks his friend, another reverend, to handle the funeral. Cory can’t stop crying, but Lauren’s... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...the seventh “incident” since Keith’s death, and Lauren notes the irony of the fact that her father and Cory have been giving money to the victims from the money Keith gave them—“stolen... (full context)
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Lauren’s father is dubious about the KSF scheme, but Cory says she wishes Robledo would be taken... (full context)
Chapter 12
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A few days later Lauren’s father fails to come home from work. Lauren joins a search party that rides out to... (full context)
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Five days later there is still no sign of Lauren’s father . The adults have stopped looking, and the police could not find anything, although they... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Lauren’s father ’s funeral takes place even though his family still doesn’t know what happened to him.... (full context)
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...days later, Lauren writes that Cory has pleaded her way into taking over part of Lauren’s father ’s job at the college. This means that Cory will have to go outside, and... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...goes into her own bedroom, which is completely destroyed. She quickly bundles together clothes from her father ’s room, taking other items such as dental floss, soap, and petroleum jelly. She also... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...during the Black Liberation movement of the 1960s. Bankole is 57, one year older than Lauren’s father . While they are talking, Bankole hears shouts from inside a semi-collapsed house. They approach... (full context)