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As far as the slave narrative goes, neo or otherwise, choice seems to be one of the key elements.The plot of  KINDRED hinges on Dana’s ability to choose within the situations she was placed in. Her autonomous agency is removed by her inexplicable, random time traveling, placing even more significance on the choices she makes. Every decision she makes on her own prevents her from being caught up in the victimization and subjugation around her antebellum Maryland. But even as she makes these decisions, she must deal with the consequences, as we see in the scene where she *SPOILER ALERT* facilitates Rufus’s rape of Alice and her murder of Rufus. Every action (or choice) has an equal and opposite reaction. Rather than being simply a physical reaction, such as a beating or the loss of an arm, many of the consequences of Dana’s choices are deeply psychological and, if the book were to continue past the point we’re given, would probably have a significant impact on the rest of her life.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 4, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I can very much agree with your assessment of the text, Monsieur Allen. Again, I simply wish that we could’ve seen more of Dana’s reflections on these types of issues. I personally am not someone who feels that ancestry really, genuinely affects most peoples’ lives but it seems that she would’ve been reflecting, while in the past, upon more of the decisions she was making and for what reasons she was doing so — does her decision to murder Rufus cause her to lose her arm in punishment because she can never escape the fact that she has now murdered someone? or does the decision to murder Rufus have nothing to do with her losing her arm and its simply symbolic of the past being inescapable? Are these two options all that different?

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