In The 1979 Novel, Kindred, Octavia E. Butler Writes Of

1924 WordsApr 30, 20178 Pages
In the 1979 novel, Kindred, Octavia E. Butler writes of an African American woman who is "called" by her ancestor Rufus Weylin, who is the son of a plantation owner, to not only keep him alive, but also to ensure that her (what would be several times) grandmother is born. Though the novel is told from Dana 's (the main character) point of view, there are several instances where the reader is given a glimpse into the background of other characters ' lives, which helps the reader to gain a new perspective. In Kindred, perspective is key to understanding how the dark years of slavery shaped the views of both the slaves and Whites. This essay will analyze as well as compare five different dichotomies of characters ' views and experiences of…show more content…
Not only was the country divided on the issue of slavery as a whole, but the Abolition movement was divided as well as to what to do with the slaves once they were free. The early ideas of Abolition were to send them back to Africa. However, after many generations of true African descendants being born in America and being assimilated into slavery, some of their culture and knowledge of how to survive in Africa would have been lost. In addition to sending them to Africa, the issue arises of the possibility that they would be captured and resold into slavery. Another idea was to have the freed slaves stay in America but in doing so, it would challenge property rights, pushing a whole new matter into question. Although reform had its many problems, for the dream of slaves to be free to become a reality, it was necessary for them to survive. For Dana to survive each trip that she takes into the past, she must adopt and assimilate into a culture that is completely different from the one she lives in the mid-seventies. To do this, she must play the role of a house slave which also means that she must accept the same treatment that house slaves receive. For instance, in chapter six of The Fall Margaret Weylin confronts Dana about her sleeping arrangement; in the heat of her questioning, Margaret slaps Dana and calls her a "filthy black whore" (Butler, 93). Back in the nineteenth century, this was an acceptable way (to most slave owners) to treat

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