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anthony.kindred2 - Anthony Bonanni Professor Schild English...

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Anthony Bonanni Bonanni-1 Professor Schild English 0802 29 November 2010 Science Fiction as a Successful Critical Genre in Kindred Octavia Butler succeeds at conveying the important messages of historical oppression in her book titled Kindred . Surprisingly, the main reason that she is able to convey these messages is because she uses time travel as a device to put the reader in a historical setting while still retaining the knowledge of the present. The device of time travel is how Butler makes a regular, fictional novel into a complex science fiction. The whole point of science fiction as a source of historical knowledge is to help the reader become more aware of what life was actually like back then. Fictional novels are the best way to put the reader in a position to try and understand the standards of life back during a certain time period, especially an oppressive time period like slavery during the 1800’s. It is argued by many people that science fiction novels do a bad job of portraying history to the readers. There are various reasons to agree with this viewpoint, one of the main ones being the problem with fiction not being factual enough to portray history. Many argue that history should be learned from textbooks, and not through any novels. They may especially view science fiction as a bad way to portray history because it is even more farfetched than a simple fictional novel. It is true that factual history books are a great way to learn history, but they are not a great way to experience history. Fictional novels about history do a great job with putting the reader in the shoes of the characters, to give them a better opportunity to experience and feel history.
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Bonanni - 2 Kindred is a science fiction novel with the main character being an African American woman named Dana living in California in the year 1976. She mysteriously time travels to the past to the year 1819 on a plantation in Maryland. She gets sent back to the past multiple times because she has an ancestor in the year 1819 named Rufus, and he keeps putting himself in life threatening situations where Dana is forced to save him to basically save her own life in the future. Rufus is a white adolescent child that is the son of a slave owning family, the Weylin’s. Every time Dana is put in a life threatening situation in the past, she time travels right back to the present day. This cycle of time traveling happens six times throughout the novel, and some of those times, she brought her husband Kevin with her by having him hold on to her arm. While they are back in the 1800’s together, Kevin lies and says that he is a slave owner because he is white, so he says that he owns Dana as a slave. Because Dana is an African American woman living in the past during a time of oppression, she is often treated horribly, and even beaten by white slave owners.
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anthony.kindred2 - Anthony Bonanni Professor Schild English...

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