Honors Program

Honors in English

Date of Award

5-2014

Thesis Professor(s)

Michael Cody

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Karen Kornweibel, Leslie McCallister

Abstract

Slavery is something that cannot be taken lightly. Even Butler says no matter how harsh the slavery in her novel is, it does not compare to how gruesome actual slavery was: “As a matter of fact, one of the things I realized when I was reading the slave narrative…was that I was not going to be able to come anywhere near presenting slavery as it was. I was going to have to do a some-what cleaned-up version of slavery, or no one would be willing to read it” (qtd. in Kenan 497). Octavia Butler knew that if she presented slavery directly and in a way that called people, most likely white males, that there would not be an audience for the novel. Instead she had to present slavery as something society shaped, rather than a specific group of individuals. An analysis of Octavia Butler’s Kindred reveals that societal expectations alter the dynamics of such interracial relationships as those between Dana and Kevin, Dana and Rufus, and Rufus and Alice, determining their success or failure without regard to the foundations upon which these relationships were initially built.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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