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This section of the paper focuses on the ways in which the African slaves were oppressed in America as documented in Octavia Butler’s novel of Kindred. It elucidates some cases in the novel; including the novel’s writer who experienced the life of slavery to their masters…
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Download file to see previous pages She outlines the theme of oppression and power in similar ways. The struggle for power was between the slaves and the owners of plantations who were equally ruling these slaves (Butler 9). However, the novel also shows the struggle for power between the slaves themselves. The slaves were struggling to be in higher or better ranks of slavery that is, the “field-hands” slaves were fighting to become “house slaves.” This was because the slaves who worked in the whites’ homes were entitled to proper housing conditions, could eat better foods and were expected to perform less harsh jobs.
In her article, Octavia reiterates that in as much as the slaves had to vie to work as house slaves, working in the whites’ houses came with many challenges. These problems were mostly faced by the women who worked there since those roles could mostly be taken up by the females. She gives an example of female slaves who reported rape cases within themselves to maintain their positions of being house slaves. They never had their personal freedoms with their sexual body and could be inhumanly harassed by their owners. This condition of slavery makes Butler create a portrait of emotional charge showing the cruelty in slavery with all the accuracy in history that she can muster (Butler240).
The novel points out the aspect of feminism in the slaves’ oppression. Dana is an example of the female slaves who went through domination in 1976, having attained only 26 years by the time of enslavement (Butler29). This shows how the most vulnerable of the blacks (the women) were exploited by the whites’ power since they could not fight for themselves. Dana further expresses her pain in parenthood stating that she seemed to be the worst possible parent. It felt so demeaning bringing up a child in a society where she felt so inferior (Butler 77).
The theme of motherhood in slavery is equally emphasized in the novel. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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