Dana influences Rufus to different degrees throughout the novel. When she first appears, she can plant the seed of magical powers, appearing from nowhere as she does. When she returns, her willingness to stand up for herself, her intelligence, and her protection of Rufus all shift his perception of slavery…to a degree. He becomes willing to grant her provisional status as his intellectual equal, though he still assumes he has the right to do what he wants with her, and with Alice. Only her ability to leave, and her connection with Kevin, protect her at those times. The limits to how much she's changed him are shown in their final encounter, when he tries to force sex on her and she has to kill him.