This is a book report on Kindred by Octavia Butler. It is a story of a black woman Dana Franklin, who is married to a white man Kevin and through the course of the novel she travels six times to the past—from her modern 1976 life to the time of slavery in eighteenth century Maryland.
The book Kindred by Octavia Butler is a story of a black woman Dana Franklin, who is married to a white man Kevin and through the course of the novel she travels six times to the past—from her modern 1976 life to the time of slavery in eighteenth century Maryland. The fist travel occurs on her twenty sixth birthday. The book never elaborates on how Dana is able to travel into the past. However the whole exercise of time travel is a way of preservation and regeneration both for her and Kevin.
There is a purpose behind the time travel experiences that both she and Kevin experience. Whenever the life of her forebear is in danger Danna has to go back in time to save him. On the other hand if ever her life is in danger Dana returns back to the present. The importance of ancestral relationships is very important, because Dana is not only saving Rufus’s life but also ensuring the existence and preservation of her own life. For Dana it is a sort of responsibility she has to undertake because till she is able to accomplish that she would not be able to give a meaning or direction to her life in present. Her travels to the past Dana is confronted by the influences of slavery which impact her psychologically and physically as slavery symbolizes victimization and helplessness of African American women.
In addition even though Dana and Kevin have a very strong emotional and sexual relationship in the present however, their relationship also transforms when Kevin accompanies Dana to her the Weylin plantation, in the past their marriage is not valid and they have to live as master and slave rather than husband and wife. And that relationship makes her feel very ashamed: “I felt almost as though I really was doing something shameful, happily playing whore for my supposed owner. I went away feeling uncomfortable, vaguely ashamed” (Butler 97).
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