Kindred Essay

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Tabitha McIntosh-Byrd is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. In the following essay, she perceives Kindred as a dark allegory exploring the impossibility of racial and sexual equality in the United States.

After she has returned from her first trip into the antebellum South, Dana says to her husband, "I don't have a name for the thing that happened to me, but I don't feel safe anymore." The "thing that has happened to her" is history—as it is understood both literally and metaphorically.

On one level, Kindred is about literal history— early nineteenth-century life as seen by the protagonist through time travel. Dana is transported into this world by a violent process that has clear parallels to the seizure and transportation of slaves from Africa. The destabilizing experience of the past will cause her to lose an arm because of a problem with the...

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This section contains 1,933 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kindred Study Guide
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Kindred from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.