Reading 802 Fall 11 Kindred essay

And rufus replies for hitting me see and then turns

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father for something else? ” and Rufus replies “For hitting me, see?” and then turns to show the welts from his recent whipping. He continues on to explain “He said I took money from his desk, and I said I didn’t. He said I was calling him a liar and he hit me. Several times. All I took was a dollar ( Butler 26).” This passage shows the early relationship between Rufus being a mischievous young boy that is heavily affected by the neglect of his father Tom, who has a stern no nonsense demeanor when it comes to being a father to a child and a master to his slaves. His reign over the household and plantation is so strong that Rufus begs Dana fearfully to call him “Master or Mister” . He warns her “You’ll get into trouble if you don’t. If Daddy hears you (Butler 30)”, he whispers. His wrath is feared to the point where every person in his possession
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from the slaves to his own child, is always on edge . While Rufus seems to pull dangerous shenanigans as a cry for attention, as he reveals to Dana “I started thinking that if I burned down the house, he would lose all of his money. He ought to lose it, it’s all he ever thinks about ( Butler 26),” Tom is ignorant of his attempts and keeps his focus on generating the family’s income through the plantation. His longing for acceptance from his father continues on as the years go by. In The Fall , when Rufus hurts his leg, rather than show concern for his son, Tom gives off the impression that Rufus has yet again taken him away from something of greater importance. As she and Kevin stand along with Tom, Nigel and his father Luke, Dana observes him with a “look of annoyance”. He even grunts and says “Guess it’s broken all right. Wonder how much that’ll cost me .(Butler 65)” While Rufus goes out of his way to gain some form of acceptance or love from his nonchalant father, the treatment of his mother is quite the contrary. Margaret Weylin strives for the affection of her first and only child and is defensive of anyone who she sees as a possible threat to taking his attention away from her. However Rufus uses her love and overprotective as a manipulation device to get whatever he desires from her. Yet at the same time, he goes out of his way to indirectly convince his father to show if not the same emotion, any emotion other than annoyance or anger towards him. When she hears of his leg being broken she storms into his room and scolds Dana for simply placing a pillow under his head. ”What are you doing to him?” she cries, “Leave him alone!(Butler 69)” She lives to protect and dote on him and with Dana around, that job is no longer available for her. As Dana watches the two parents she thinks “And there was Rufus, swung from his father’s indifference to his father’s sugary concern. I wondered whether he was too used to the contrast to find it dizzying.(Butler 69)” Although he rarely agrees to anything that Rufus asks of, Tom does oblige Rufus’s plea to allow Dana and Kevin (more so Dana) to join them back at the Weylin home. In fact there was almost never a time where Tom would interfere with Rufus and his requesting of Dana’s presence. It was almost as if Tom could sense that the two of them were in some way kindred.
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