Student Question

What are some admirable choices Dana makes in Kindred?

Quick answer:

Some admirable choices that Dana makes include the choices to repeatedly save Rufus Weylin's life despite his abhorrent treatment of women and black people.

Expert Answers

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A lot happens to Dana in this story, and you could argue that a lot happens to her in a short amount of time or a lot happens across many different periods of time. The reason for this is because Dana can unintentionally travel through time. Unfortunately, her travels backward through time are dependent on Rufus Weylin's life being in danger. Each time Dana gets pulled back to the 1800s, she finds herself in a situation that requires her to decide whether or not she is going to save Rufus. This sounds like an easy decision. Saving a human life is an admirable decision and action; however, choosing to save Rufus's life becomes a more and more difficult decision to make. Rufus is a nasty man. He is incredibly cruel to his slaves, and raping a woman is not against his moral code, yet Dana keeps choosing to save him.

Now you could argue that Dana's choice to save Rufus is not an admirable decision. You could argue that choosing to save him is a very selfish decision. If Rufus dies before helping to conceive Hagar, then Dana will likely cease to exist. By saving Rufus, Dana is saving herself, and that isn't so admirable.

Finally, you could argue that Dana's choice to kill Rufus is admirable because she removed an evil man from the world.

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