The “Whole” Picture
There are various connections that can be made between the characters within the novel “Kindred” written by Octavia Butler. The majority of these connections relate to four of the course themes we’ve visited in past few weeks: double consciousness, collective trauma, diaspora, and power relationships. The protagonist, Dana Franklin, traveled between the past and present and in her travels she met a variety of different people, including the enslaved African Americans and their White owners of the 19th century, as well as her ancestors, one in particular is the cause of her time travel. Alice Greenwood and Rufus Weylin both had a peculiar relationship with Dana, as well as with each other. The ties that Dana shared with Alice exemplified the themes of double consciousness and collective trauma, and the ties shared between Dana and Rufus demonstrated the themes of diaspora and power relationships.
Alice and Dana had a sisterly relationship, as some of the other characters had commented, Sarah once told Dana after Alice’s passing, “You and her was like sisters... You sure fought like sisters, always fussin’ at each other, stompin’ away from each other, comin’ back.” Although a brief description, this is a very accurate summary of their relationship. Their double consciousness was first realized when Rufus had pointed out that they were both “one and the same”, this meaning that they were two halves of the same person. Not only did they look alike, but the line between their roles in the Weylin household were heavily blurred. Alice was the “love” interest of Rufus while she was alive, although her only use to him was to either sexually abuse her or use her as his personal punching bag. She had once told Dana that whenever she’s around, the mental and physical abuse isn’t as bad as it regularly is. On the other hand, Dana has an immense amount of freedom in comparison to Alice, even to the other slaves. Due to...
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