The actual turning point in The Sparrow was when the Utra-Light crashed. However, it was of little interest. The importance of the novel lied within the gardens that were built. The garden the Jesuit mission planted served as the catalyst to the future demise of the group, and especially Emilio. Emilio not only had his body destroyed, but also his soul. The gardens caused a slaughter, an imprisonment, an eventual destruction of the survivor's hands, another death, a rape, and a long period of despair for the only survivor of the overall mission.
The crashing of the Utra-Light by Sofia and Marc (290) was simply the turning point because it was the beginning of the many unfortunate events that happened to the group. However, it was not the cause of the destruction of the group. After the crash, Sofia and Marc flew the lander back to camp; it then did not have enough gas to get the crew back to the asteroid. The group then decided they might have to stay on Rakhat for the rest of their lives. Soon thereafter they built the garden. However, they already wanted to grow some sort of constant food source before the Utra-Light ever crashed (194-5). Also, the group was hardly saddened when they realized the effect of the lander being out of gas (298). Moreover, Emilio was one of the happiest to learn he would be staying on Rakhat. The news had no long-term or short-term effect on Emilio's happiness, soul, or body.
There was only so much food the group could bring with them on the lander. It was inevitable that they would eventually run out, especially when they found out they would probably be stuck on Rakhat. They tried eating the food on Rakhat, but they wanted to grow their own too. They wanted to grow the garden partly because of taste, but more for the health benefits. They asked for permission and it was granted. They went and retrieved the seeds Marc had decided to bring along, and soon thereafter began to plant the seeds. In the beginning "the Runa were absolutely flabbergasted" (342) about why the group was digging in the ground. Once the Runa realized that the gardens grew food they too began to garden (346). As the food in the Runa gardens grew, the fat levels and hormone production rose (346). Thus, Runa sexual activity became more frequent, and therefore, the natality rate increased.
Soon, because of the increase in population, there was a slaughter of the Runa village. Only two humans on the mission survived (378). The two remaining humans, Emilio and Marc, were then "taken prisoner[s] immediately" (380). Once they were prisoners, they were fed some sort of meat. Despite Emilio's effort to convince him otherwise, Marc refused to eat the food he was given throughout the imprisonment. As the imprisonment went on, Emilio eventually found out he was eating, "the meat of the innocents" (380). Emilio continued eating the meat even after he knew; his soul was hardly functioning. As he had watched children and...