Study Guide for Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Summary|
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STUDY GUIDE FOR KINDRED: SUMMARY
Born a free black woman, she starts life in a cabin in the woods with her mother. At first, she and Rufus are childhood friends, but he eventually develops an obsession for her. As a result, she tries to run away with her husband Isaac who is one of Judge Holman’s slaves. This means, once she is caught, that she becomes a slave under Rufus’ control. She eventually bears him four children, two of which die, and one of which becomes Dana’s ancestor. However, she spends most of her time hating him for what he did to Isaac and her. Her final attempt at freedom costs her her children and eventually her life.
Sarah, Carrie, and Nigel
Three slaves who Dana comes to love. Sarah is the cook who acts like a mother to Dana and teaches her to cook. Carrie is Sarah’s mute daughter who eventually marries Nigel, one of Rufus’ boyhood friends, but also a slave. These three believe totally that Dana comes from another time and watch over and protect her as much as they can. Sarah carries some bitterness, because Tom Weylin had sold off two of her children, and Nigel has been beaten for trying to escape. It is Carrie who reminds Dana that even though they would all like to see Rufus dead, they would all be sold to Georgia or Louisiana once he were gone.
She is a selfish, uncaring woman married to Tom Weylin and mother to Rufus. She hates Dana, because Rufus is so attached to her. She eventually becomes a drug addict addicted to laudanum.
Joe and Hagar
These children are the two living children of Alice and Rufus. Hagar will become Dana’s ancestor. Their names are symbolic of freedom.
One of the slaves who is the plantation laundress and Dana’s friend, she loses her value after a while when she doesn’t produce any children. She is sold off and led away in a coffle, a group of slaves chained together as a way to keep them from escaping. She is the first slave that Dana sees sold, and she has a tremendous effect on her.
He is Alice’s husband, who is whipped , has his ears cut off, and is sold into the Deep South after he tried to escape with Alice. Before he is forced to run, Isaac nearly beats Rufus to death for raping Alice.
He is Weylin’s black overseer, who tells his son Nigel that he should be willing to accept a few beatings just to have more freedom while still a slave. He “acts white” once too often and is sold off to a Georgia slave trader.
Evan Fowler and Jake Edwards
These men are the white overseers and seem to enjoy the power they have over the field slaves. They are not supposed to have any power over the house slaves, but both use any opportunity to control them or even whip them. Neither likes Dana, because they think she also acts “too white.”
He is a large, strong field hand who mentions he’s attracted to Dana. When Rufus learns this, he has him sold into the Deep South.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Kindred".
. 09 May 2017