October 31, 2013
Modern and Antebellum Survival and Racism
When we live we’re not only living but we’re surviving. Survival is a main idea in life that we practice daily. People might not know it but when eating, sleeping and breathing we’re stressing habits of survival that we learned from experiencing everyday life. Survival comes in two forms, natural survival and self-survival. Through natural survival we are taught at a young age how to live life amongst others and ways to maintain ourselves within our society. When as in the other form of survival, self-survival we’re surviving through what our mind is telling us is the safest and most knowledgeable plan to maintain living. Another theme stressed by Octavia Butler in her novel Kindred is the theme of racism. Racism has always existed in society due to the thoughts of one race being inferior to the other, in past times racism occurred more than what is in todays society. In the antebellum south slavery was something people had no control over, to everyone it was a society norm that majority of everyone participated in, as to where in 1970 California racism still existed but wasn’t nearly expressed as much. In Octavia Butlers Kindred both themes of survival and racism are expressed through her character Dana and her time travels back into the antebellum south from 1970 California. In Octavia Butlers Kindred survival is shown by the character Dana. Throughout the novel Dana depends on her smarts and guts to survive her time travels to the past. In the novel Dana is forced to watch over the survival of her own ancestors due to their survival being critical to the survival of her own existence in the world. For Dana this responsibility creates a consistent fear of her time spent in the antebellum south within the Weylin plantation. While on the plantation Dana encounters a life style no person from modern culture would expect. The quote “I’m not sure it’s...
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