Mythmaking: A Study of Women and Religion in Sheri Tepper's The Awakeners and Grass and Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Wild Seed
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When I began working on this project I had no idea whether anything like it had ever been attempted before. I also did not realize how needed such a project is for women. I soon discovered that while the topic of religion has been discussed at some length by science fiction scholars, the topic of women has been discussed only briefly, and a combination of women and religion has barely been touched at all. To go out almost entirely on my own for this project has been difficult. I an neither well-trained in the critical analysis of literature nor the history of religions. Despite this, I learned the skills necessary to accomplish my goal and have hopefully explored some of the issues that need to be address. Unfortunately, because of all the other issues that needed to addressed in this paper, I did not have the time to examine the racial issues presented in both Sheri Tepper's and Octavia Butler's novels. This is particularly lacking for Octavia Butler, who is the only African-American woman science fiction author publishing. Despite not being able to go as in depth in the racial issues of the novel, I learned a considerable amount through the writing of this project. I was forced to begin my definition of feminism. Given my unsystematic exposure to feminist theory, this was especially difficult for me. Another important skill I began to develop was the critical analysis of novels I read for pleasure. Because of this project, I will never read science fiction, or any novel, in the same light. I now have some ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in every novel I read.