How can Rufus impact his mother's feelings toward Dana?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel "Kindred," by Octavia Butler, Margaret Weylin is the mother of Rufus.  She is very protective and overbearing where Rufus is concerned.  She dislikes Dana on the spot.  When Rufus breaks his leg and Mrs. Weylin walks in his bedroom she sees Dana placing a pillow under his head.  She starts yelling an screaming at Dana.  Rufus and his father calm her down.  She tells Dana to get out but Rufus says he wants Dana there.  She relents and says Dana can come back later.

Margaret is very jealous of the relationship between Rufus and Dana. She is also jealous of the relationship between Dana and Kevin.    She is an unhappy woman who feels insecure in her abilities. She has little education and very little power.  She takes her frustration and anger out on all of the slaves but especially Dana.

However, all Rufus has to do is say a word to his mother and she backs off.  She is so invested in her son's life that she dare not cross him.  Her upbringing as a Southern woman lends itself to obeying the men in her life. Her life is hard and eventually, in her later years, she begins to depend on Dana.