Ideas And Actions In The Novel Kindred By Octavia E. Butler

2116 Words 9 Pages
The science-fiction novel Kindred, written by Octavia E. Butler, is an extremely dramatic and fascinating novel that revolves around Dana, an African American writer living in California in the year 1976 and her mysterious trips to pre-Civil War Maryland. How she is being sent back to that time is unknown, but after the initial few trips, she realizes she is being sent back to ensure that her bloodline continues; and this begins with saving a young, white boy named Rufus. This novel forces the reader to be in Dana’s thoughts and actions all the time, as it is written in first person from her point of view. She encounters terrible and repulsive treatments of African American slaves in her trips back, and she is horrified by it. Her “innocence” …show more content…
They both agree that they want to, and Dana goes to talk to her Aunt and Uncle about it, and Kevin goes to talk to his sister about it. Kevin’s sister is disgusted; she refuses to even meet Dana. She is angered that Kevin would marry a black woman, but Kevin claims that this is just because of her husbands, who he refers to as a Nazi, influence. When Dana goes to talk to her aunt and uncle, her aunt approves but her uncle does not. He took it personally as he had always wanted her to marry someone like him. Thus, both of their only relatives have rejected them because they both chose to marry outside of their own race. Here, Butler uses this scene to again portray how different the past and present are when it comes to racism. Kevin’s sister’s husband is twenty years older this her, and according to Kevin, he is what influenced her not to like blacks. Dana 's aunt only approved because she liked the look of mixed-race babies, while her uncle absolutely disapproved and was personally offended. Butler is again playing with a comprising between past and present racial attitudes. Kevin and Dana see no issue in getting married; they love each other for who they are, not their skin color. Their relatives, however, don 't even want to meet them, all they had to hear was that they were a different race, and they refused. While racism might not be totally fixed today, it is much better …show more content…
Although the novel appears to simply tell a story about Dana’s trips back to pre-civil war times, it contains so many references and comparisons to Butler’s ideas on slavery. The way she describes Dana’s life in 1976 is such a contradiction to what her life was like on her trips back to help Rufus, it simply portrays how much better race relations are in the modern world. This novel greatly changed the way I think about slavery; It helped me to see so many different aspects I had never considered before, such as what life was like for a house slave compared to a field slave. Although Rufus was not very appreciative of Dana, we got to see a much different side of him when his father passed away. We could see that he did care about the slaves on his estate, and that he wanted the best for them. However, he was left with a large estate with debts, and he had to ease these burdens by selling some slaves at first. To avoid doing more of this, he enlisted Dana 's help to mail letters to creditors asking for more time to pay back his father’s debts, and it worked. Rufus was simply a man who was not in control of himself, and this is what eventually lead to his death; he was not evil are heart, but the environment he was born in had taken its toll on him. While I always have and always will believe slavery is totally wrong and inhuman, this novel helped me to look at the different aspects of slavery, it is

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