What are the similarities and difference between Alice and Dana in "Kindred"?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major difference between the two women is that Dana is coming from a totally different perspective than Alice. Dana is a modern woman who has only read about slavery, while Alice, although a free woman at the beginning, has grown up in a society that condones slavery. Alice feels death is better than slavery, but Dana disagrees with her. She thinks survival is the better option as long as there is a chance to escape to freedom. Again, I think this difference lies in the pasts of the two women. Dana knows what real freedom is, while Alice knows as a black woman, a white man or woman can do anything to her he wishes. As Rufus abuses Alice more and more, she gives up, seeing no hope for her future. Dana is willing to do more to regain her freedom, while Alice feels death is her only choice, especially after her children are taken away.

Both women are alike in several ways. They are both strong characters who desire freedom in the worst way. Dana and Alice are both alienated from the other slaves because of their relationship with Rufus and his family. They are drawn to each other, and Rufus thinks they are two halves of the same woman because they are so much alike. Their relationship is much like that of sisters who fight one moment and hug the next. There is an unexplainable connection between them that is more than being family.

For more on these two characters, go to the sites below.