The Bonded Value Essay

921 words - 4 pages

Characters and the relationships between them are sacred. From friends to lovers or mortal enemies, all of them are unique. No relationship however is quite as unique as Dana-Rufus in Octavia Butler’s Kindred. In this story Dana, a 26 year old African American Woman from 1976 gets her life revolving around Rufus, literally. Each time Rufus fears for his life Dana is dragged from 1976 to Rufus, at whatever point in his life he is when he’s terrified. Three times she has been dragged and three times she’s either saved his life directly or by stopping something which would have gotten himself killed via his father’s rage. However, the favor is returned. Rufus has managed to persuade his father to allow Dana to read to him, something slaves were never supposed to do. Educated slaves were at times killed on sight; yet Rufus was able to protect Dana from his father’s silent hatreds. Rufus needs Dana for more than the occasional saving his life; she is his mentor. Even though it was against customs, Tom offered to buy Dana as a teacher to Rufus. In the Antebellum South a slave being a teacher was unheard of, making the action more meaningful. Dana is thrown into the position of teaching Rufus what right and wrong is. She must teach him more than basic English and become a philosophy teacher as well to him. She must teach him right from wrong so he’ll live to make the right choices which eventually leads the Dana’s birth. Her life depends upon Rufus in more ways than one. The Dana-Rufus relationship certainly is special, Dana must become a Nanny McPhee each time Rufus becomes scared and in return Rufus offers what protection he can to Dana. Lastly, Dana teachers Rufus how to choose his actions wisely.
The first time Dana was pulled back in time she was at a river with a downing boy, without hesitation she jumped in and rescued him only to be repaid with a beating from a retarded-racist-female-lunatic and a gun pointing to her head by her husband. The second time she stopped Rufus’ fire from getting out of hand. Even so, she was in the home of a slave owner with his child at night dressed as a man; she would have been killed there instantly if anyone had discovered her. After yet again selflessly saving Rufus’ life, which had only caused her trouble, she once more faced danger for her noble efforts.
During the ordeal at the river while Rufus almost drowned his father came with a gun and pointed it at Dana, were it not for Rufus, Dana could have been killed. Rufus again helped to save Dana after she...

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