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Octavia Butler


Key Facts

Key Facts

full title · Kindred

author · Octavia E. Butler

type of work · Novel

genre · Bildungsroman, historical fiction, science fiction, dystopia

language · English

time and place written · Maryland, 1979

date of first publication · 1979

publisher · Doubleday

narrator · Dana

point of view · First person

tone · Spare, straightforward, sober

tense · Past

setting (time) · 1976 and early nineteeth century

setting (place) · California and Maryland

protagonist · Dana

major conflict · Dana struggles to survive in antebellum Maryland.

rising action · Dana is taxed with saving Rufus’s life.

climax · Rufus attempts to rape Dana.

falling action · Dana kills Rufus.

themes · The corrupting influence of power; the bondage of familial love

motifs · Violence, home, race

symbols · Whips, birthdays, maps

foreshadowing · Sarah’s warning foreshadows Rufus’s failure to mail the letter; Dana’s fear of Rufus’s jealousy foreshadows Sam’s sale

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