The Author & Her Craft –
Why is Kindred written in Dana’s voice (first person)?
Because the story is best told from her perspective. She explains the details and how the slaves lived and how the people of that era felt about her. She was able to show us perspective from every point in the story and from everyone. If it was Rufus he wouldn’t give a good perspective about slavery or about Dana and how she had to take care of her self from Mr. Wyler and his people.
Why do you think the author found it necessary to use a modern narrator to tell the story instead of having it all set in the past?
The author found it necessary to use a present person instead of a person from the past because, she was able to see how it was for her to experience slavery and we can understand it a lot better because she able to show it in a point of view we could simulate to. If it was told in a persons point of view from back then, the whole slavery thing would be natural to them and it would seem like an every day thing but it would still show the heart aches it’s caused those people and the misery. That’s why the story is told by a person from the present day.
Characters & Motivation –
What role does Rufus’s mother have in the formation of his character, and is Rufus strongly influenced by her?
She is an issue to why Rufus is not able to see Dana as much; she acquires them while Dana tutors Rufus and bothers him while Dana will be giving a lesson. She can control a lot of the things he does and if he would be able to get tutored by her. He is not strongly influenced by her only because, he’s starting to get older and he is starting to see how his mother is with him and Dana and in one of the events, Dana is tutoring Rufus and she begins to ask him questions and asking him pointless things that don’t relate. When this happed he couldn’t handle it any more, he looses his mind and goes off on his mother and tells her to leave him alone and such things.
What are your own reactions to Rufus and his actions as he grows into a man?
My reactions to Rufus growing into a man is that he is starting to realize how life really is and that how the life his parents live isn’t the way to go on with life and that becoming older he is growing more and more unlike his family. He is starting to see how life is grown into from a African Americans view and a white persons view.
Issues & Themes –
What are the benefits of learning about our individual and collective past—even if the process is difficult or painful?
The benefits about learning from the individual and collective past are that you get to see how life was grown into for the young and the old. You can see how the way things were done back then would not be considered normal to others now days. You get to see how the past events affected the way things are today about racism and the respect of the human kind.
Abusive behavior occurs throughout the book and is assumed by the police investigating Dana’s injury. In what ways does this novel address or illuminate issues of domestic violence?
From the Police accusing Danas husband Kevin about her arm to them wondering where all the injuries came from. This books shows violence coming from the slavery era they went into from the violence Mr. Wyler showed towards his family did not much differ to how he treated his slaves. The police try to seek the truth about Danas arm and how it happen and try to turn it into that her husband Kevin did it and trying to accuse him of it and trying to make her feel pressured about it.
Speculative Questions –
How would the story be different if Kevin were black?
If he were black, he would have to do slave work such as working in the plantation and working in the farms. He would get whipped like the other slaves as well. but most important, when Dana goes to sleep with him at night, she would not be able because he wouldn’t have the luxury of sleeping in a room and when she would walk out she would not have been given a pass from Mr. Wyler, he would have beat her and then beat him if he seen them together in the same room.
How would the novel have worked if the narration had been written from a different character’s point of view?
If the novel was written by another person in the book such Rufus, all the racial things that happened would not have been looked at as bad because coming from a white person. The situations such as when they dragged Alice’s father with the horse, that would not have been as well described or shown any affection if it was told by Rufus even though he likes Dana.