Innocence In Octavia E. Butler's Kindred

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It is said that history repeats itself. In a way, events in history are eternal as they will always re-occur in one way or another. War is eternal. Love is eternal. Hate is eternal. One would say that it is in humanity’s genetic instinct to understand all three. However, knowledge cannot be passed down genetically when it comes to people. The past in which we learn about influences these behaviours and emotions. It is not the past which makes us, but rather the past that influences us. The story Kindred, written by Octavia E. Butler, helps give an insight on how certain behaviors, such as hate and racism, are developed and the conditions in which they develop in, specifically from Rufus whom Dana, an African American woman from the future,…show more content…
Specifically, this is innocence from hate. This innocence is gradually wasted away when one is exposed to negative emotions and/or connotions directed towards a certain people. Innocence causes ignorance, and the two often go hand-in-hand. If one has no reason to, nor told of a reason to hate others, then it could be assumed no hate will be harbored. In Kindred, when Dana, an African American woman who is believed to be lower than the southern slave owners, first meets Rufus, he had a form of innocence. He did not necessarily have a condescending view on slaves. All he knew and understood of them was what he observed them to be; workers. He even let Dana influence him as a child, only up to the point where Rufus was grown had known of his own social standing. “His air of innocent questioning confused me. Either he really didn’t know what he was talking about, or he had a career in Hollywood.” (25). Dana genuinely believed that Rufus did not know how emotionally harmful he and his family could be. This proves Rufus’ innocence as a boy surrounded by slaves and his ignorance towards how people in the South really are. Innocence is natural, racism is
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