In class we were told to choose a from a few statements and elaborate on it, I chose this question: How does Rufus’ “destructive single-minded love” (Butler 180) shape the lives of Alice and Dana? What are the choices Alice and Dana make to cope with Rufus’ love? Do you agree with their choices?
When Rufus met Dana and Kevin, their relationship had a big impact on him. He saw that in the future White and Blacks could be married and this made him become obsessed with Alice, his childhood friend. She never felt the same way about him because she was a free black woman, who saw the treatment of slaves on the Weylin plantation. Rufus would never be the same as black person. They didn't have the same rights but Rufus' single-minded love caused him to do the worse damage he could have ever done, he forced himself on Alice and raped her. When she fled with her husband Issac she was captured and enslaved. Rufus bought her to save her from other slave owners, but his intentions were also based on his obsession with her. Now she would belong to him and he could have her whenever he wanted.
Dana cares for Rufus, she has saved him from death and danger since he was little. She has a connection to him because of her ancestral history. He is one of her relatives and she saves him in order to preserve her family's history and her own life. Because Rufus is aware of his power over Dana, he manipulates and black mails Dana into accepting to heal Alice and send her to him. She is torn by her situation because if she doesn't do as he pleases, he can hurt Alice even more by getting her whipped and then still rape her. Her decision to cooperate with Rufus and somewhat coax Alice to sleep with him is done not because she wants to help Rufus, instead she does it in order to save Alice from further humiliation and pain.
At first Alice is extremely angry with Dana, and she insults her because she is upset that Rufus has sent her to do his biding. She feels betrayed to some degree. Alice agrees to go and sleep with Rufus, her actions make her more subdued. She is angry but still does it because she knows that she doesn't have it in her to run away again. Dana understands the "destructive single-minded love" he has for her because of the last beating she has. She runs away because Alice finds her letters that she has written to Kevin, that should have been sent months ago. That was enough to make her see the liar that Rufus is, and the extra push she needed to run away and search for Kevin. She is captured and beat by Tom. When she confronts Rufus she realizes that Rufus has lied to her in efforts to keep her with him. He doesn't want her how he wants Alice, but he enjoys her company and the fact that she in fact does care for him and listens to him when he want someone to speak to.
Alice's and Dana's lives are shaped by Rufus' "destructive single- minded" love because Alice is raped and raped over and over again by the man that "loves" her. She allows it and lets him have his way with her. Dana lets this happen because she knows that her relatives and ancestors depend on it. Dana also suffers because she trusts his word and is always helping him even though he is using her and lying to her in the process. She is connected to him and so is Alice because now they are both subjected to him without being able to run away.
In the situations that Dana and Alice are in, I understand why they chose to go along with what Rufus wanted. However, this affects Dana because this makes her feel betrayed by him and when she is beat by Tom, she suffers cause she trusted Rufus. Alice's life now is in Rufus' hands and he can do whatever he wants to her since she didn't fight him. This has the potential to cause problems in the future for her. Ultimately they don't want to be hurt or suffer more than they have to so they just go along with it. They aren't happy but either way they are living in a time when slavery existed so they pretty much don't have a choice either way. Their lives will be in constant danger and unfair treatment.