In Kindred Essay

1173 Words5 Pages
The malpractice of doctors during the 19th century foreshadows the horrific human experimentation conducted by Nazi Germany medical experts during World War Two. The Second World War is distinguished by the mass murder of millions of European Jews. This genocide was conducted by Adolf Hitler, and it is primarily characterized by the utilization of those in concentration camps for medical experiments. Doctors in the 1800s lacked the knowledge of medicine and availability of modern technology to provide beneficial diagnoses and perform the most appropriate treatment. This lack of expertise lead to curiosity and eventually experimentation. The Holocaust marked a period of time in which people within the medical field attempted to ignore moralistic…show more content…
Dana Franklin, the narrator of Kindred, consistently and involuntarily travels back in time from the 1970s to the early 1800s whenever Rufus fears for his life. Because the 1800s mark a period of time in which slavery was very prominent, Dana is treated as and plays the role of the average slave woman whenever she is forced back to Rufus’ time. During “The Storm,” Dana finds Rufus laying face down in a puddle of rain. She is instructed to look after Rufus and treat his illness. Because of her relatively advanced knowledge of medicine, when compared to the knowledge of medical professionals during the 19th century, she has the ability to treat Rufus in a more appropriate and effective manner. She quickly realizes that he has malaria. Nigel, a slave at the Weylin Plantation, informs Dana that Rufus has contracted malaria before, but Tom Weylin, Rufus’ father and current owner of the plantation, refuses to call a doctor because “all the [doctor] knows is bleeding and blistering and purging and puking and making [people] sicker than they [were to begin with]” (Butler 202). Dana manages to help Rufus overcome his illness simply with aspirins and time. While she is taking care of Rufus, she also discovers that Alice Greenwood, a slave who is forced into becoming Rufus’ concubine, has lost two children because of the malpractice of medical professionals during the time. Rufus allows the doctor to bleed and purge the two children in hopes of reducing their fevers; unfortunately, this results in the death of their two children (Butler
Open Document