In Kindred, Dana is constantly trying to reconcile what she thinks she knows about slavery, i.
In order to survive, she must acquire basic skills that, as a modern woman, she has never learned, including cooking on an open hearth, sewing, and doctoring without the benefit of modern medicines or antisepsis.
She must also determine whether she has the strength of character required for survival in a world that is rough and crude, in which black people are believed to be subhuman and are kept as chattel, and where physical and psychological punishments are daily tribulations.
On an elemental level, Kindred questions whether a modern person is equal to the challenge of living in a preindustrial world and whether modernization has resulted in fundamental losses of resiliency and strength. Because Dana is a black woman, there are racial dimensions to her struggle.
Through Dana, Butler explores the nature of slavery and slave-master relations, the special strengths or weaknesses of character that allow slaves to survive as chattel, and the relationships between white men and black women both in the present and in the past.
The reader is first introduced to Dana in her hospital room after she has returned, injured and mutilated both psychologically and physically, from her final voyage to the past. In a series of flashbacks, Dana describes the six different trips in which she was called, against her will, to an antebellum Maryland plantation.
After her first two excursions, Dana understands the purpose, if not the method, by which she returns to the past. In order to ensure her own birth, she must protect the life of her accident-prone great-great-great-grandfather Rufus, whom she first meets as she rescues him from drowning when he is a young boy.
She quickly discovers that she can return to her present only when her life appears to be threatened. Because Dana cannot safely return home at will, she must endure lengthy intervals, often months, with Rufus.
As they realize that she is about to be transported on her third trip, Kevin embraces Dana, thereby traveling with her to the past.
His presence enables her to feign the role of his slave and grants her time to learn the techniques necessary for her own survival. She fears the effects that the antebellum South will have on her tolerant and compassionate husband.
In order to survive, he will have to tolerate, if not condone, life in the nineteenth century.Kindred is a novel by American writer Octavia E. Butler that incorporates time travel and is modeled on slave narratives.
introduced science fiction writers such as Octavia Butler and Suzy McKee Charnas to a literary form that redefined the heroism of the protagonist as endurance. This study guide Kindred is a novel by Octavia Butler. While most of Butler's work is classified as science fiction. Please click on the literary analysis category you wish to .
As is to be expected in a novel about slavery, race is a key motif. Indeed, Butler stresses the wearisome constancy of race as a motif in Dana’s life, and in the life of other African-Americans on the Weylin plantation.
In Maryland, the color of Dana’s skin is the key fact about her.
Kindred is a novel by Octavia Butler. The Kindred study guide contains a biography of Octavia E. Butler, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Essay on Kindred, by Octavia Butler Words 4 Pages The novel under the title Kindred is a magnificent literary piece created by renowned African-American fantasy writer and novelist of contemporary times Octavia Butler. Octavian Butler’s novel, Kindred, is full of racism, violence, and questions of power.
To go along with the themes in this book, comes the symbol of the whip. To go along with the themes in this book, comes the symbol of the whip.