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Kindred | Study Guide

Octavia Butler

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Kindred | Quotes


I didn't want this place to touch him except through me.

Dana, The Fall, Part 2

This quotation touches on Dana's deep desire to keep Kevin from the antebellum South, not only for his sake but also for hers. It expresses the complexity of their interracial marriage.


The ease ... I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.

Dana, The Fall, Part 7

Dana speaks to Kevin, disgusted by how she and others acclimate to the oppression of slavery. Kevin, as a white man, represents the oppressor, especially since he discounts Dana's reaction to the slave children's game.


But it came—like a hot iron across my back ... searing my skin.

Dana, The Fall, Part 8

This scene of Dana being whipped allows readers to experience the violence of slavery through her eyes, feeling her pain and humiliation.


Like the Nazis, ante bellum whites had known quite a bit about torture.

Dana, The Fight, Part 2

Dana draws parallels to another time in history: the book burnings, the brutality, and the oppression of the Jewish people by the Nazis in World War II.


I told her everything. Even about you and Kevin being married. Especially about that.

Rufus, The Fight, Part 4

Rufus tells Alice about Kevin and Dana's marriage because he wants to convey his obsessive love to her, hoping she, a black woman, and he, a white man, could be sexually and romantically involved as Dana and Kevin are.


I was startled to catch myself saying wearily, "Home at last."

Dana, The Fight, Part 5

Dana approaches the Weylin plantation and sees it as "home," conveying one of the novel's major symbols. The plantation as home is an ironic place of safety. This is an example of situational irony where the Weylin plantation, by its very nature, presents the greatest danger to Dana.


They be calling you mammy in a few years.

Alice, The Fight, Part 11

Alice talks to Dana and expresses the view of many slaves who look down on a slave woman who works as an arm of her white master, keeps the slaves in check, and does his bidding.


Damn you, you're not leaving me!

Rufus, The Fight, Part 16

Rufus, desperate to keep Dana with him, reveals his possessive feelings toward her in front of Kevin, which leads to Kevin's jealousy of Rufus.


I didn't want to look at him and see things that reminded me of Weylin.

Dana, The Storm, Part 1

Seeing connections between Kevin and the Weylin men, Dana expresses her contempt for slavery's power through the connection of these white men, past and present, linked simply by the color of their skin.


If anything happens to him, I'll flay you alive!

Tom Weylin, The Storm, Part 2

Weylin begins to view Dana's role as necessary to keep Rufus alive. His words capture the slavery motif and how whites used brutality to keep slaves to maintain their existence as slaveholders.


Good to have sons. But it's so hard to see them be slaves.

Nigel, The Storm, Part 5

Nigel's words to Dana capture the strength of the slave community, the kinship bonds, and the slaves' desire for freedom for their descendants.


Behold the woman ... You really are only one woman.

Rufus, The Storm, Part 10

Making a dangerous connection between Dana and Alice as inferior women merely because of their skin color, Rufus foreshadows the novel's climactic action where he is killed by Dana and might as well have been killed by Alice, her ancestral grandmother.


You mean there's something he could do to make you kill him, after all?

Kevin, The Rope, Part 2

When Dana tells Kevin that if Rufus rapes her she would kill him, Kevin foreshadows Rufus's death by Dana's hand while revealing his jealousy of Rufus.

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