Study Guide for Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Analysis Synopsis

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1. The story begins in the present

a. after Dana has been sent back willingly to her own time by Rufus.
b. after Dana has killed Rufus and returned whole and safe.
c. after Dana has killed Rufus, but returned having left her arm in the past.

2. Kevin and Dana are very much in love, but are

a. at different levels of success.
b. a bi-racial couple.
c. at odds all the time about whether she really experienced time travel.

3. Dana knows that

a. she’s going to travel in time.
b. she can plan out a trip into any period in the past.
c. time travel is impossible until she is suddenly pulled into it.

4. Some of the events in Rufus’ life which pull Dana to him are

a. drowning, fighting, and alcohol poisoning.
b. setting a fire, drowning, and driving Alice to suicide.
c. fighting, alcohol poisoning, and driving Alice to suicide.

5. When Rufus sees Alice and Dana together, he says,

a. “Behold the woman!”
b. “A nasty slave and a good slave!”
c. “You both belong only to me!”

6. Dana breaks up a fight between Isaac and Rufus which started when

a. Rufus raped Alice.
b. Rufus raped Sarah.
c. Rufus raped Carrie.

7. Nigel wanted to escape slavery, but accepted it when

a. Sarah was allowed to live in his home.
b. Carrie gave birth to his sons.
c. Alice was given to him as his wife.

8. Alice was a freeborn women, but was enslaved, because

a. she wouldn’t go to bed with Rufus.
b. she tried to help a slave escape.
c. she talked back to Tom Weylin.

9. Alice bore four children to Rufus, but

a. two died.
b. three died.
c. they all died.

10. When Rufus was a child, he called Dana to him twice,

a. once for nearly choking to death and another for a broken leg.
b. once for nearly drowning and the other for a broken arm.
c. once for nearly drowning and the other for a broken leg.

11. Dana has to save Rufus during the storm, because

a. he’s drunk and drowning in a storm puddle.
b. he’s drunk and choking on his own vomit.
c. he’s drunk and was beaten by white men who stole his money.

12. Ironically, Dana is not called back the final time to save Rufus, but to

a. try to save Alice who has cut her wrists.
b. to try to save Sarah who has tried to kill Tom Weylin.
c. to try to save Alice who has hung herself.

13. The reason why Alice had tried to hurt herself was because

a. Rufus had sold her children down the river.
b. Rufus had sold her husband, Nigel, down the river.
c. Rufus made her believe he had sold her children.

14. Dana’s first reaction to Alice’s death is

a. to blame Tom Weylin.
b. to blame the system of slavery.
c. to blame Rufus who hid her children from her.

15. The only way Dana can return to her own time, safe from Rufus is

a. for him to admit is love is obsessive and let her go.
b. for him to formally free her from slavery.
c. to kill him.


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