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Study Guide for Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Analysis Synopsis

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Summary (Continued)


Dana knows she should do something to help revive Rufus, but she chooses to allow him to come to on his own. That will give Isaac and Alice more time to escape. She realizes that he is now about 18 or 19, but she will still be able to bluff and bully him a little. When he awakens, she tells him that he just keeps trying to get himself killed, and she just keeps coming back to keep him from doing it. When she walks away towards the stream to get some cool water, he screams her name, panicked that she might leave him. His need for her continues to be obsessive. Then, she begins to question him about the fight, manipulating the circumstances to try to make him back off from wanting vengeance against Isaac. She reminds him that he raped Isaac’s wife, but in spite of his sense of guilt over that, he feels good about what will happen to Alice: when Isaac is caught, he will go to jail and receive a good whipping, but Alice will lose her freeborn status and be sold. He says he will buy Alice when she returns and to hell with Isaac. He justifies his behavior by saying he begged her not go with Isaac, and that rape and slavery is her just punishment, because she denied him. Dana realizes that he does love Alice, but that is her misfortune, because there is no shame in raping a black woman, but there is shame in loving one.

Dana continues to try to convince Rufus that he has to say he was attacked by white men to give Isaac and Alice a chance; they had ultimately saved his life. She eventually holds sway over him, but she knows that they have a somewhat precarious understanding between them. He has the trump card, because he knows where Kevin is; however, he agrees to tell the lie she suggests. He also insists that his father will listen to her, because he’s not sure what he saw when she disappeared the last time, and that makes him a little afraid of her.


Dana now begins to walk towards the plantation house to get help for Rufus. She sticks pieces of the tablet she brought with her on the bushes so she can find her way back, and wonders as she walks, what the years have done to Luke and Sarah and Nigel and Carrie. Furthermore, what has time done to Margaret Weylin? She startles herself as well by thinking the words, “Home at last!” as she arrives at the house. Even though she knows that only a few days have passed in 1976, she feels comfortable in the thought that time has passed for her, too.

The first person she meets is an unknown white man who demands to know who her owner is. Dana tells him about Rufus’ injury and is surprised when the man whispers that Rufus is a worthless bastard. He leaves her waiting in the foyer of the house while he goes in search of Weylin. The first person that approaches her then happens to be Carrie, now pregnant. They hug, but are interrupted by Weylin himself who disapproves of their affection. He orders Carrie to find Nigel, who will bring the wagon around. The white man Dana doesn’t know is named Jake and is Weylin’s current overseer.

When the wagon comes around, Dana jumps on the back and comes face to face with a grown-up Nigel who looks exactly as she remembered Luke. Along the way to Rufus, Tom Weylin remarks that Dana is the same one he had whipped the last time she came into the past. Then, when she asks where Kevin is, he tells her that he had headed North and that Rufus had received letters from him. He tells her she can stay there for a while, but that she has to work for her keep. He remarks that Kevin had already come back once looking for her. Then, when Rufus arrives home, he sends Dana upstairs to care for him. He mutters as he leaves her that it seems that she is there to be his caregiver.


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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Kindred". . 09 May 2017