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Kindred | Study Guide

Octavia Butler

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Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of the epilogue of Octavia Butler's novel Kindred.

Kindred | Epilogue | Summary



Dana and Kevin take a flight to Maryland, rent a car, and travel to the area near Easton, where the Weylin plantation would have been. They search for Rufus's grave but cannot locate it. Their research leads them to a newspaper article stating that Rufus died in a house fire. Dana assumes Nigel set fire to the house to cover up the stabbing. Because Margaret Weylin's death isn't listed, Dana assumes Nigel got her out of the house in time. Kevin and Dana also find a listing for a slave sale during their research. Every slave was sold after Rufus's death, except for Carrie, Nigel, Joe, and Hagar. It's possible that Margaret Weylin raised her grandchildren in Baltimore City, but Dana will never truly know. Dana remembers hearing that her ancestor Hagar came from Baltimore. She reflects on how Kevin must never know how close she came to submitting to Rufus or how difficult it was for her to kill him. She worries about what happened to everyone and why she and Kevin felt the need to travel to Maryland. "To try to understand," Kevin tells her. He believes their reasons for coming to Maryland are the same: to ensure their sanity. He ends the conversation, saying they will stay sane now because Rufus is gone.


Dana and Kevin are linked by a common experience that, as hard as it is to accept, has brought the hierarchy of their relationship into focus—a hierarchy based on the past. They search for physical, historical evidence that supports their experiences, and though they find plenty to support the existence of the people and places of their time traveling, Dana's connection to Rufus and her ability to save him remain unexplained.

Readers are left with unanswered questions. Butler provides no attempt at explanation. She reveals characters in their rawest moments and the various ways in which they help and hurt one another. Readers are left with the impression that Kevin and Dana have a loving relationship made stronger by their shared experiences. They can now see the power struggles that they had earlier in their relationship as a remnant of history.

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