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In The Book, Kindred, Octavia Butler Shows That The Fear Of Running Away And The Consequences Of Getting Caught Were Reasons To Stay In Slavery And Not Rebel.

636 words - 3 pages

After learning about how badly slaves were treated in the ante bellum south, many people wonder as to why more slaves didn't run away or rebel. In the book, Kindred, Octavia Butler shows that the fear of running away and the consequences of getting caught were reasons to stay in slavery and not rebel.The fear of the possible effects prevented many slaves from attempting to run away. When the main character, Dana was planning to run away to meet her husband, she collected some food for her journey. "I had heard of runaway slaves starving before they reached freedom, or poisoning themselves because they were as ignorant as I was about which wild plants were edible" (170.) Starvation was a major issue to slaves once they had run away. They didn't know what they should and should not eat, and they were not fed regularly like they were used to. This discouraged potential runaway slaves. After Dana was captured from attempting to runaway, she compared Alice to herself and thought about how ignorant she was. "We'd both run and been brought back, she in days, I in only hours. I probably knew more than she did about the general layout of the Eastern Shore. She knew only the area she'd been born and raised in, and she couldn't read a map. I knew about towns and rivers miles away-and it hadn't done me a damned bit of good!"(177.) This shows that once a slave had escaped, they were completely on their own. They didn't know where to go and probably had never stepped a foot outside the plantation they were born on. Even if they did have a map, it is likely that it wouldn't be very useful because most slaves couldn't read. These situations of being on their own probably made slaves attempting to run away think twice.The slaves knew the...

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