Octavia Butler's Kindred: Character Analysis

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Writers utilize their literary abilities as a tool to create a piece of work that transmits a meaningful message that will create an impact on their audience. This is the case of Octavia Butler’s Kindred, a historical science-fiction novel evolving around a twenty six year old woman named Dana who lives in Los Angeles during 1976. What makes the story unique is the fact that the plot alternates between the past and the present as Dana travels through time from the commodity of her house in 1976 Los Angeles to Maryland during the antebellum period. The catalyst for these trips to the past is the near death experiences of the son of rich southern planter, a boy named Rufus Weylein, who is one of Dana’s ancestors. Every single time Rufus is put in a situation where he fears for his life, Dana is summoned to the past in order to save Rufus’ life in order for her…show more content…
One of the main motifs discussed in the book is the idea of fragmentation, which Butler utilizes to illustrate the way any sort of separation from what is familiar can cause a person to suffer and be harshly damaged. As the novel progresses, Butler also includes instances in which Dana has to perform certain activities in order to survive in her trips to the past. These events are placed in the plot in order to exemplify the way in which the entire situation of time traveling puts plenty of distress upon Dana. Furthermore, this distress is one more example of how strange and shocking situations can result in damage for the person who experiences them. Butler also charges the plot with symbolism in order to convey this message. She utilizes symbols that either represent stability and well being, symbols that stand for struggle and survival and symbols that represent oppression and
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