Richard Butler 's Fiction Novel, Kindred, By Octavia Butler Essay example

1975 Words 8 Pages
In Octavia Butler’s science fiction novel, Kindred, the protagonist, Dana, is involuntarily wrestling with the urge to not conform to the ways of the antebellum Southern culture she has been forced into due to a time traveling sensation. Her psychology unknowingly embraces her ancestor’s patterns of behavior in this time instead of maintaining a surface-level imitation she intended to keep since her first encounter with this phenomenon. This uncontrollable submersion into slave-holding Maryland commands Dana to not only comply with the norms, but also evolve her mental constitution, leaving room for her to forget her present-day dignity. She almost seems to forget and fade in and out of remembering her worth in the 1976 perspective. Dana’s efforts are not intended for merely surviving, but rather she is so committed to exploring the culture and methods of the time period she has been thrust into that those aspects consume her mentality and result in her becoming assimilated into her race’s role in society.
One may argue that Dana’s efforts are directed only towards her own survival. However, it can be recognized that her time in this period of history stays with her, and, ultimately, takes pieces of her both figuratively and literally in relation to her lack of arm in the ending. Where Dana was once appalled at anyone referring to her as a “nigger”, she begins to allow and expect these demeaning behaviors. She first gawks at Rufus openly attributing blacks as niggers…

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