Reading 802 Fall 11 Kindred essay

Rufuss relationship with his and alices son joe

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bond had been born between Rufus and his own son . Rufus’s relationship with his and Alice’s son Joe transformed from a master teaching a slave into a father guiding a son. It began with Alice persuading Rufus to allow Dana to teach the boy to become fully literate as a Christmas gift. As young Joe became more educated , he began to developed a love for learning and used it as a source of entertainment. Dana brought it to Rufus’s attention commenting to him “You’ve got a damn bright little kid there. You ought to be proud(Butler 231).” It was then at that moment that he had taken notice in the child that he had forced Alice to bear for him. “He had spent his life watching his father ignore, even sell the children he had with black women. Apparently, it had never occurred to Rufus to break the tradition. Until now(Butler 231).” The rope His interest in Joe suddenly transformed into a liking, then a fondness for him. When Alice, still pregnant with their second child, Hagar, expressed her desire for Joe to be raised free, he considered the idea and was set on following through with it. However with Rufus’s newfound title as master of the Weylin plantation, his ego reared its ugly head once again. He upsets Dana by selling a male slave for speaking to her, as well as hitting her when she tries to object the sale, which causes to inflict pain upon herself in order to transport back to her present time. When she returns in The Rope , she discovers that after being captured while escaping and tricked into believing that her children had been sold by Rufus, Alice has finally escaped his clutches through suicide. Once again we, the readers see Rufus blame Dana for his own mistakes “Why did you leave me! If you hadn’t gone she might not have run away!” Rufus yelled at Dana, however he knew he was to blame for Alice’s grim demise. In order to make something good come of this tragedy, Dana suggests to him, “Two certificates
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of freedom Rufe, all legal. Raise them free. That’s the least you can do (Butler 251).” The significance of Rufus and Joe’s patriarchal connection was that for once in his life, Rufus could shower the love and attention that he had longed to receive from Tom onto his own son. Once could say it gave him peace of mind knowing that although he hadn’t received any fatherly acknowledgement as a child he could give it to his own son. His gift of freedom was significant also because it was the last thing he was able to give to not only his children through their lives but to Alice as well before his own death. Along with the strong male dominance in the story, Kindred touches on racial oppression. Because times had changed drastically by the time she had come into existence, she was accustomed to having her own independence and free reign over her life. However, she understood in order to survive in the 1800s as not only a woman, but an African American one; she had to act according to the customs of that time period. Because she was basically placed at
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