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The Title“Kindred,” from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED): (1) The being of kin; relationship by blood or descent (occasionally, but incorrectly, by marriage); kinship. (2) Affinity in respect of qualities; resemblance, agreement. (3) The family, offspring, or descendants ofa specified ancestor.
EtymologyKin: Old Teutonic and Aryan root meaning: ‘to produce, engender, beget’Dred: Old English root meaning: ‘condition or reckoning’ (i.e., counting, relating, narrating, estimating the value of, to take into consideration, to judge).’
EtymologyAlso:Can one hear the title as “Kin-Dread”?Dread (v.) (OED): (1) To fear greatly, be in mortal fear of; to regard with awe or reverence, venerate. (2) To have a shrinking apprehension of; to look forward to with terror or anxiety: of future or unknown events.
Kin-DreadFor Dana, of course, the “future” is the “past.” What she “dreads” taking place in her future is all happening in the nineteenth century. The fact that, each time she returns, very little time has elapsed in the late twentieth century is an indication that the whole scenario has a dreamlike or nightmare quality outside the boundaries of normal time. What does it mean, exactly, when one is haunted by ghosts with regard to the future?
Kin-DreadAs already mentioned, Dana returns to 1976 each time she fears for her life. This is very much like dreaming. When you dream that your life is in danger, you (typically!) wake up.
Race Hauntings?33. Street violence42. Rape52. Labor relations97. Sexual relations151. Wife beating196. ApartheidNot to mention racism in general, such as that of Dana and Kevin’s family in relation to them (110, 111)
Race Hauntings?Kevin’s patriarchal outlook:108. Dana should throw some of her books away.109. Dana should type his manuscripts.136. Dana should write his correspondence for him.60. Dana belongs to him “in a way,” since she’s his wife.Does Kevin treat her this way because he’s a man, or because he’s a white man?