Kindred Reaction By Octavia Butler Essay

1369 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
Kindred Reaction
Octavia Butler wrote Kindred in 1979 when interracial relationships were uncommon and a book centered around a black woman and a white man was doubly so. Dana, the protagonist, jumps through time between 1976 and the early 19th century when her ancestor, a white man named Rufus, is in danger. When Dana is in the past she experiences the brutality of slavery first hand. Dana experiences Antebellum Maryland in a similar fashion as we would. Butler gives us a unique perspective on slavery through a person with modern ideas on racial relations experiencing extreme racism firsthand. Butler also touches on aspects of slavery usually are overlooked in novels based in the era, such as slave’s resentment of the emulation of “whiteness”, slaves being treated as sexual objects, and how easy it is to adapt to and dismiss terrible things going on around you. At the center of the story is the relationship between Dana and Rufus, and how their relationship changes as Rufus ages. Octavia Butler’s novel made me reevaluate the way I thought of slavery and engaged me to think about bigger topics such as power and family.
One thing that changed the way I thought of slavery was the resentment and emulation of “whiteness” among the slave population. Throughout the story the slaves see Dana as an outsider, in part because she is not one of Tom Weylin’s slaves, but also because she is educated and speaks properly. Many of the other slaves resent this and see it as her rejecting her…

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