Written by Ovtavia Butler, Kindred is a story about a young woman in the seventies that goes back in time to meet her ancestors and has the chance to change a few details. Because time travel is a heavy theme, this novel is considered to be science fiction. But I consider it to be more than some kind of fantasy story. Because the topic of slavery did indeed exist in our history, to call it science fiction fantasy is contradicting. The details that Octavia includes in the novel are so real. As I read, I no longer paid attention to the time travel aspect of the novel. I was more fascinated by th fact that a young African American woman from the 1970’s revisited the past, and was able to narrate from her perspective. Most novels we readable narratives by actual slaves, but from Dana’s perspective brings a fiction twist, yet we are dedicated and invested because the theme is real and serious. Another reason why the story is so interesting is the fact that Dana’s husband is a white man. In the 1970’s, such a matter can pass in society. But backin the 1800’s, and even Rufus said it himself, it is considered somewhat inappropriate. The fact that Dana is protected by Kevin and we witness the effect ion he has towards her changes my view about slavery even further. The fact that it’s very possible for two people to have such a strong bond makes me compare it to the time Dana goes back and witnesses how sometimes African Americans couldn’t marry or even be with one another out of pure injustice.
The beginning of the story was somewhat confusing, but as the story continued I became more interested as the major theme of time travel emerged. Time travel provided two different views for me, the reader. I witnessed Dana and Kevin try to cope with the idea of the possibility if time travel was real and they were victims of it. And to watch them go back in time and cope with the fact that they were in the 1800’s and Dana was dealing with her ancestors. And lastly, to witness Dana and Kevin return home and have trouble coping with their once normal lives. To read that Dana sees the still icy meat was startling too. They had supposedly been absent for about five years, yet they were only gone for a few hours.
Although this story is considered fiction, it is real in so many ways. The details were accurate and provided the reader with a different kind of narrative. It felt like a real narrative! The details were precise and sounded like something from a narrative written by a slave. For example, when Kevin tells Dana that he witnessed a baby hit the floor out of its mothers stomach, while the mother was being beaten. Details like that we’re so hard to read and register, but in the back of my mind I knew this was once reality. Octavia Butler did a great job writing a fictional story while capturing reality.