In Kindred, why is Dana able to survive while Alice is not? Back up your answer with evidence from the novel. Cite examples from the book.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dana is from the future, so she knows what is going to happen.  This gives her the strength to continue fighting.

Dana is in a completely different situation from any of the characters that live in the past.  She understands the big picture in a way they never can.  From the old Bible, she has an idea of the family tree.  She knows who has a child with whom.  She knows what is going to happen.

When Dana saves Rufus the second time, from the fire, she asks him about Alice.  Dana assumes Alice is a slave, but Rufus explains that she is free.  He tells Dana that Alice is a friend.

I looked over at the boy who would be Hagar’s father.  There was nothing in him that reminded me of any of my relatives.  Looking at him confused me.  (“The Fire”, 2, p. 29)

Dana gets sent into the past with Kevin.  At this point, Rufus and Alice are older.  Kevin leaves, and Dana does not know where he has gone.  She tries to write him letters, and Rufus swears he is sending them.

Rufus became talkative and happy, openly affectionate to a quietly tolerant Alice.  He drank more than he should have sometimes, and one morning after he had really overdone it, Alice came downstairs with her whole face swollen and bruised. (“The Fight,” p. 169)

Alice is a slave, and Dana is not.  Although Alice is free when she is younger, Rufus is able to buy her and sell her husband.  He even forces her to have sex with him by threatening to beat her until she does.  Alice has no choice.  When Rufus tells her her children are sold, she feels she has nothing left.  She kills herself.


roni111 | Student

i need to know about eassy for why is dana ablie to survivie while alice is not ?  what that means?

djslavik | Student

jmg55 you are partialy right and wrong. The reason Alice died is because she did not overcome her character flaw and so she dies. Dana on the other hand did and does not die.

jmg55 | Student

The simple answer is that Dana has something to look forward to --  a life in the 20th century -- while Alice only has a life of slavery for herself and her children to look forward to. However, I suspect that your question may be related to a course assignment, so I will not back up my answer with evidence from the novel! I hope you can take the hint I've written and open your book to find something to cite.