Octavia E. Butler's "Kindred"
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This paper commences by explaining how the two genres of slave narratives and neo-slave narratives are closely linked together although there are differences between them. Next, the author relates the story of Octavia E. Butler's "Kindred" in which the heroine, Dana, a twentieth-century African-American woman, time-travels back to the period of the antebellum South, to the Maryland plantation of a slave owner who is her own ancestor. The paper concludes that Butler successfully demonstrates that there is a unbroken connection between the past and the present and that literature can have an important role in rewriting history. Footnotes and a colored print are included in the paper.
From the Paper:"However, slavery does not carry only negative realities. Dana finds cooperation and solidarity in her ancestral home. This character is an orphaned child, moreover she is estranged from her guardians, the aunt and uncle who reared her, first by her ambition to be a writer and later by her interracial marriage to Kevin, also an orphan. When they married, Dana and Kevin "go to Vegas and pretend haven't got relatives;" an episode that may critique the lack of communal life for contemporary African- Americans. On the contrary, Dana learns, from her experience in Maryland, the importance of the African American community, accepting her communal responsibility
although she is technically not one of Weylin's slaves. Dana states: "I need all the friends I can make here."At first, Dana's motivation to join with the community is utilitarian; her interest soon changes to one of true affection and the cook, Sarah, her mute daughter, Carrie, and Nigel, Carrie's husband, become Dana's extended family. In African American culture, feminine individuality has little in common with the Anglo-American masculine concept of individualism."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Butler, Octavia, E. Kindred, Boston, Beacon Press, 1979.
- Beaulieu, Elizabeth Ann. Black Women Writers and the American Neo-Slave Narrative: Femininity Unfettered, Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1999.
- Douglass, Frederick. The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro: Speech at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852 in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, New York, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., volume B, American Literature 1820-1865, p. 2117.
- Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written By Herself, in The Norton Anthology, p. 1775.
- Mitchell, Angelyn. The Freedom to remember, Narrative, Slavery, and Gender in Contemporary Black Women Fiction, Rutgers University Press, 2002.
Cite this Book Review:
Octavia E. Butler's "Kindred" (2012, December 23) Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/octavia-e-butler-kindred-152088/
"Octavia E. Butler's "Kindred"" 23 December 2012. Web. 24 October. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/octavia-e-butler-kindred-152088/>