Conclusion Of Octavia Butler's Kindred

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Conclusion Often when critics read Octavia Butler’s Kindred, the focus of the novel is often on the bodies of the black people who lived during this era. However, the narrative itself is fascinating in the way it confronts history in order to deconstruct it and rebuild it. Dana’s journey to antebellum Maryland enables the reader to take a new look at the characters they thought they knew, like Sarah’s role as the “mammy.” Butler’s blending of the Neo-slave narrative genre and Fantasy allows her protagonist to get up close and personal with these figures to see how well her “knowledge” of them in 1976 hold up—when she has to live as a slave herself. By closing the time gap and deteriorating this disconnect between the generations, the parallels …show more content…
Kevin shows the reader the problem of narrating from such an outside standpoint, and Dana highlight the issue of being black and too “knowledgeable” about history, without understanding the reality of what it meant to be a slave. As both character’s knowledge is filtered through their 1976 ontologies and flawed, incomplete history lessons; what the two protagonists believe they know about the past does not hold up when they are confronted with it. As they live through history, they are able to find the flaws in contemporary historical characterizations of enslaved blacks and the institution of slavery itself. Kevin represents the problematic mindset of minimizing the dehumanizing aspects of slavery that are not directly related to physical violence. The novel’s version of slavery stresses the way underhanded tactics such as forcing blacks to watch others be beaten and breaking up families was as violent and, in some ways, more damaging than physical violence. Bringing these issues to the forefront of the novel forces the reader to analyze the way psychological violence and fear were used to ensure that blacks remained in their subjugated …show more content…
But, in order for this to happen, the narratives must be articulated by viable authorial voices. The problem with extremist versions of history can be seen now in the twentieth century south. The dispute over what the Confederate Flag means to the south continues to create a divide within the people who live there. The whitewashing of the history of the American South and the Civil War continues to create racial tension as black Americans and their allies seek to remove what they perceive as symbols of hate. As many politicians attempt to stand by the revised version of history that state that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of southern unity and heritage, historical representations of the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing minorities begins to be erased or revised. Thus, the hate crimes committed under the symbol begin to either transform or completely disappear from historical accounts. By erasing the history behind the symbols, the violence enacted towards blacks both in modern and contemporary time periods begins to be revised. The result is a history that continues blames blacks for their own dehumanization, and the vicious and unending cycle becomes

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