Ideas for Group Discussions

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The most obvious topic of discussion raised by Kindred can be the attempt to determine the measure of guilt Americans in the late twentieth century should shoulder for the crimes committed in past United States society against not only African Americans, but Native Americans, as well as all other racial and ethnic minorities.

1. Why is Dana's husband Kevin Caucasian?

2. What does the novel suggest can be a wholesome understanding of the slavery culture in the U. S.?

3. Why is there clearly no equation that can measure Dana's time in the past with the relatively short time that she has passed in the present to which she finally returns?

4. How many moods are expressed in the title Kindred? Respect? Compassion? Anger? Hate?

5. Episodes wherein a person is tied and flogged are virtually always present in real and fictional slave narratives. Kindred presents at least three. What are the meanings of such episodes?

6. What sort of story would Kindred tell if Dana was a man rather than a woman?

7. What power do the women in the novel possess? Comment on the women in slavery, Weylin's wives, as well as Dana.

8. Is the relationship of Dana and Kevin convincingly depicted?

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