How do Dana's personality traits, in the two different time periods, influence her behavior as she travels back and forth in Kindred?  

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"I was probably less prepared for the reality [of violence] than the child crying not far from me."

Dana is a progressive and liberal thinking woman.  In the novel Kindred, by Octavia Butler we are introduced to the characters as they are moving into a new home.  We have a White man and an African-American woman. They have gone against the wishes of both of their families and their culture to marry.  This makes Danna an unlikely person to survive very long in the South of the 1800's.  Dana is in danger every time she travels back to Rufus.  She must constantly be aware of how she speaks and looks at the white people she comes into contact with. 

When she returns to her time period, sore and beaten, she is angry.  The only way Dana is returned to her time is if her life is in danger.  The only time she is transported to the plantation is when Rufus is in danger.  Going back and forth really teaches her a great deal about her self and Kevin.  She learns that she can take more suffering and pain than she ever felt possible, but she remains angry and guarded long after she returns.  It affects her relationship with her family and her husband.

"The drive for survival is very strong, and for slaves this means making many painful choices. "Mama said she'd rather be dead than be a slave," Alice recalls, but Dana disagrees: "Better to stay alive.… At least while there's a chance to get free." Because she thinks she will have a better chance of survival if she befriends the Weylins, she accepts the role of slave during her stay on the plantation.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question