Literary Analysis Of Kindred

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Octavia E. Butler’s work Kindred is a profound novel that illustrates the destructive power of obessive love. Butler also does a remarkable job protraying the graphic nature of racial prejudice in the 1800s as opposed to how it’s viewed in modern times via time travels – which gives the reader the oppurtunity to compare and contrast the two distinct eras. Dana’s (the narrator and protagonist of Kindred) choice to continue saving Rufus’ life, regardless of his absurd behavior, causes her time travels to prolong – given that Rufus was the focus and cause of them – and Rufus eventually beomes obsessed with Dana. As Dana chooses to save Rufus’ life, she not only prolongs her time travels to the antebellum Maryland of the early 1800s but also saves her life and preserves the familail bond of the slaves. “Was that why I was here? Not only to insure the survival of one accident-prone small boy, but to insure my family’s survival, my own birth.” (Page 29). It isn’t until Dana’s second trip into the ante bellum Maryland that this idea of how crucial the survival of Rufus – her ancestor – is to her. Theoritically, the survival of Rufus and the birth of Hagar will warrant the birth of Dana so it’s only natural that Dana struggles to save Rufus despite the fact he mentally and physically abuses her by having her whipped, forcing her to work in the cotton field which strips Dana of her dignity and identity as an independent woman. As Carrie points out to Dana, “Margaret Weylin could not run the plantation. Both the land and the people would be sold. And if Tom Weylin was any example, the people would be sold without regards for family ties.” (Page 224). Dana unintentionally saves one of the few commendable objects in the life of a slave: familial bond. Although the famly is dispersed when Dana eventually kills Rufus, she delays the moment by keeping him alive for as long as she
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