Study Guide for Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Analysis Synopsis|
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KINDRED: FREE CHAPTER SUMMARIES
Kevin notes, however, that there may be another way to get Dana home,
and that she might have more control over it than she thinks. He thinks
fear makes her go from the past to the present. Dana sees it as more:
Rufus’ fear of death calls her to him and her own fear of death calls
her home. That is why she fears that she can’t survive the era, and if
she is forced to return, she may die before she can get home. Kevin emphatically
disagrees, telling her that she is no less than her ancestors are, and
they survived the era. She has strength, endurance, and the will to survive.
Besides, he needs her home with him, and she needs to come home to him.
This chapter especially emphasizes the motif of paradox. Paradox refers to something that may seem contradictory, but nevertheless may be true. Dana is actually several generations younger than Rufus, but she is called across time and place to protect him. Furthermore, he sees her as she is in the future and hears hers and Kevin’s voices when he is in great need of her. In addition, each visit Dana makes is further into the future for the Weylin family, but still in her own past. Even the idea of time travel itself is a paradox, but without any warning, Dana and Kevin are forced to realize that it can happen.
Other aspects of this chapter that should be noted for their importance are the facts that Dana learns about where she goes in the past. She learns the time is 1815. She is on a plantation owned by a slave holder, she is in danger because she, too, is black and can be forced into slavery, she needs papers to prove she is freeborn and maps and other supplies to help her should she be forced back to the past, and she may have the solution to bring herself home - her fear of death.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Kindred".
. 12 May 2008