"Dana enjoys a privileged status in the Weylin household. She is disturbed by how easily she seems to acclimate to her new role, but realizes that this is because most of the time she can act as an observer. As time goes on, however, she is drawn more deeply into the pain of slavery."
Dana makes the Weylin plantation home by playing a role. She integrates herself into the life of a slave by working in the kitchen, carrying water, cleaning the house and doing as she was told. She became to care about the other slaves and the children on the plantation. She worked behind the scenes to teach reading and this almost gets her killed. She realizes that the reason that she is able to do this is because she approaches the situation as if she were an observer and playing a role, not actually in the situation, but playing a part.
Ocatvia Butler believes that home is exactly what people make of home. It doesn't matter where one is, or who one is with, it is an attitude and a point of view. Home is one's culture, ancestors, and what is in their heart and soul.
"Dana makes friends with the other slaves and Tom hires Kevin to teach his son. They settle into a routine, until Dana becomes uncomfortable with how easy it is. She realizes that slavery is a mental degradation, not just a physical one. When Tom discovers her teaching slave children to read, he knocks her to the ground and beats her. Before Kevin can reach her, she is returned to 1976."