Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews February 14, 2023
February 7, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
In Kindred, whips symbolize the white
man’s power and capacity for violence. The men who wield whips in
the novel are men to be feared. They are small-minded, angry people
who use violence to get what they want, dole out punishment, spur
slaves on, or relieve their own irritation. A whip in the hand of
a white man embodies all that is evil in the antebellum South. The
way the whips function stands for the slow, soul-crushing effect
of slavery. Whips have the capacity to kill, but, unlike guns, they
kill slowly. They are a premeditated instrument of slow torture.
In the same way, slavery kills the soul piece by piece.
Birthdays stand for the cruel cycle of slavery. For the
slaves on the Weylin plantation, the birth of infants is a mixed
blessing. Although the birth of a child brings with it great joy,
it also creates great suffering. The necessity of caring for an
infant links parents more closely to the plantation, making it almost
impossible for them to consider escape. As the infant grows, the
parent must suffer from the knowledge that his or her child is enslaved
and must fear the possibility that a family member will be sold.
Butler makes Dana’s first trip to Maryland coincide with her birthday
to suggest that, like an infant on the Weylins’ plantation, she
has been born into suffering. Dana’s final trip to Maryland comes
on the Fourth of July, the birthday of the United States. The timing
of this trip reminds us that this nation is grounded in a history
of agony. Although the birth of the United States brought about
great good, it brought pain in equal measure.
In antebellum Maryland, maps stand for the possibility
of freedom. For that reason, it is extremely dangerous to possess
a map. When Rufus forces Dana to burn her map, he is forcing her
to burn her ability to navigate the Maryland shore. When he teaches
his son to read a map, he is giving him the ability to seek his
own freedom. A person with a map can find his way. A person without
one can only go as far as his personal experience and memory allows.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Kindred!