Kindred Study Guide

Kindred Study Guide

The novel “Kindred” was written by Octavia Butler in 1979. It is one of the few slave narratives written in a science fiction style. Using such style the author tried to reexamine the consequences and legacy of slavery through a modern perspective.

The protagonist of the book, Dana, turns 26 years old in the summer of 1976. She is a young African American, who is married to a white man and has a calm and predictable life. Without a conscious intent, she travels in time from her home in Southern California to a plantation in Maryland. The visits to the plantation happen at a time that precedes the Civil War events and demonstrate the cruelty and violence of the slavery.

In her travels, Dana meets a son of the slave-owners, named Rufus, and gets to grow fond of him despite the terrible things he would do in the future. She also gets to meet her ancestors, as well as experiences the cruel treatment most black people got in the 1800s. Dana’s visits start to grow longer and longer, sometimes she even takes her husband with her.

At some point Dana is beaten to the extent that she looses the will and desire to run away from the cruel treatment she experiences. She forgets that she comes from a place where all black people are free and no longer seems to think of herself as a human being with dignity.

The novel operates on the edge of different concepts: time, love, race, and power. Most importantly, it elaborates that freedom is a skill that is taught and nourished and maybe explains a little bit why it took the country so long to drop down the handcuffs of slavery. "Kindred" is a very relevant read in the society that is still struggling to reconcile and provide equal opportunities for all its members.


New Essays

Reading Response: Kindred

Timothy Kramer | Literature & Composition | January 10, 2013 Timothy Kramer | Literature & Composition | January 10, 2013 Reading Response Kindred Reading Response Kindred LT02 Summarize the Text In Olivia Butler's novel, Kindred, an African American woman, Dana, is unexpectedly pulled...

9th Grade Paper on Kindred-C Worthy

How can a slave holder have love for one of his slaves, and expect her to love him back? How can a black woman even show even a slim amount of compassion toward a slave holder, while knowing he was rapping and tearing families apart? Dana is living on the edge of slavery and freedom, but freedom...

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Angela Williams RED090 Kindred When Kevin and Dana arrive back in 1976 they make love. Feeling lost, Kevin and Dana agree they felt most at home on the plantation. Kevin seems to be an image of Rufus, and the Weylins and their houses are similar. Kevin grew out his beard during the years he was...

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