The Fight For Freedom In Octavia Butler's Kindred

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Situations are defined by choices. Small actions in one moment of time alter the future of what happens forever. In Kindred by Octavia Butler Dana, the main character, is a black women born in 1976, who time travels back to the early 1800’s in order to save her relative, Rufus, a white boy who is the son of the owner of the plantation. Along the way she also meets her other relative, Alice, a slave born free, but enslaved since she helped her husband run away. Alice is owned by Rufus, who is convinced that he is in love with her. Even though Dana is in similar situations as Alice when it comes to how Rufus acts toward them, Dana tends to choose the subversive route, while Alice chooses the submissive route showing that women have come to look…show more content…
Dana tells Sarah how Alice committed suicide. Sarah replies:. “Oh Lord Poor child. He finally killed her...Even if he didn’t put the rope on her, he drove her to it. He sold her babies!” (249). Not even Alice’s suicide was her own choice, proving that her final act was not one of subversiveness, but of submission, because she had nothing left to live for and refused to fight for her liberty. She took the easy way out. Dying was not a final act of rebellion and was instead an act of complete loss. In death she no longer has to face any consequences. Later, after Alice died, in his grief Rufus tries to make a move on Dana. Dana decides to grab her knife in a desperate move to escape being raped. “A slave was a slave. Anything could be done to her. And Rufus was Rufus-erratic alternately generous and vicious. I could accept him as my ancestor, my younger brother, my friend, but not as my master, and not as my lover. He had understood that once” (260). Dana is distancing herself from being a slave doesn’t feel that she could ever be subjected to it like Alice was. She uses pronouns like “her” to describe a slave to show that she will be associated with one. Rufus no longer understands the difference between friend and master at the loss of Alice. Dana was able to make the selfish decision of killing Rufus, rather than submitting herself, for the good of herself, not the good of anyone else. She could not stand to become like Alice, a slave at the hands of a master; thus, her determination to escape stemmed from her will to remain independent. She knows as soon as she lets herself submit to the will of this society she cannot be viewed as a person, but a tool. Dana represents the women in the current day and age that would do anything to protect their own freedom, even at the

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