Analysis Of Octavia Butler 's Kindred

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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 characters they though 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 person 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 breaking down the disconnect between the generations, the parallels between Sarah and Dana become stark and direct. Butler shows the reader that time is not a unidirectional concept, but cyclical. Much like style is recycles through the years, so is history. Dana and Sarah’s roles are remarkably similar as each woman is barely living in their respective time periods. The survival theme that permeates the novel resonates through the various time periods and closes the temporal distances. By bring the time periods so close to together, Butler is able to analyze the attitudes that modern blacks have towards their enslaved kin. The metaphorical mirror that Butler holds up to Dana’s face forces her to confront the similarities between her and Sarah, and as the reader follows the narrative, they are also looking into a

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