Embodied Agency In Octavia Butler's Kindred

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In his “’No.’: The Narrative Theorizing of Embodied Agency in Octavia Butler’s Kindred,” Bast underscores humanity’s desire for agency, one’s “ability to reach decision[s] about themselves and [express them]” and how one’s agency can benefit a society or a community (Bast 151). In the beginning of his article, Bast labels this decision-making and expression as beneficial and necessary for a community, while simultaneously underlining society’s limitations put on mankind’s freedoms such as discrimination, prejudice, or injustice. Nevertheless, he follows up by stating that it is simply human instinct to want to express thoughts even if other factors oppress them, undermining these social limitations. Furthermore, to support this statement, Bast…show more content…
This analysis of agency would be useful for a person pushing for more freedom of expression or freedom of speech. All in all, Bast’s successfully supports his perspective of agency through his evaluation of Kindred, and the comparison of the human instinct of expression to Dana’s want to create change with her time traveling powers constructs a powerful parallel between the novel and Bast’s article. The novel Kindred, however, serves to create an important message about society on its own, as well.
Octavia Butler’s Kindred is a science-fiction novel that depicts the life experiences of a young black woman named Dana, who is given the task of traveling back in time to the era of slavery to save her ancestors, but is unjustly oppressed and has most, if not all, of her rights stripped away from her simply due to her race and gender. As a result, the most prominent overarching theme of the novel is the inequality of power and social status given to people of varying gender and race, and the struggle that those people must go through to gain as much freedom and equality as possible. It is apparent that in both
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