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Kevin is a progressive, liberal, middle-aged white man who defies convention and the disapproval of his family to marry the Black woman he loves. Slavery appalls him. He fights for his ideals in the South by helping slaves escape, even though getting caught might cost him his life. He tries to support Dana and help her contend with the difficulties she encounters in the South. However, Kevin is an imperfect man. He does not see that he tends to dominate Dana and often disregards her wishes. He is jealous of Rufus, he tries to force Dana to become his secretary, and he lashes out at her when he has a hard time fitting in back at home. Kevin also has a blind spot where the slaves on the Weylin plantation are concerned. He does not understand that even the most placid, least violent forms of slavery are shocking and degrading. He thinks about the big picture and as a result wants to affect all of history, rather than struggle to improve the lives of those around him. He does not see many of the slaves as Dana sees them: as individuals with their own histories and lives.
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