Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blog 9: Looking back in Kindred

In this blog entry, I will be discussing the second question which is regarding the symbolism in "lost" and "home."

The way that the question is asked, "lost" means trauma, and "home" is Dana's desire to be back in her world and her "real" time. The first question is what traumas are indicated by the loss of Dana's arm? When Dana looses her arm after she kills Rufus, she is left incomplete. During her times back and forth between time periods Dana has endured so much pain and suffering. Her life before as a wife to a white man will never be the same. Her knowledge of her ancestors brings darkness into her life. As a black woman in her present time she didn't know what it was really like to be black in a white man's world. She had her so called "rights." She was working and able to marry her white husband with the objection of his family and her own. But the fact was that she could do so. However, after she starts going back and forth between past and present, her future will no longer be the same. She has been marked by her past and the trauma she experienced as a black woman in the past. This will be with her forever, so much that the loss of her arm shows the pasts grip on her life and her present. She was able to survive the Antebellum- Maryland, but this survival comes with the experience and the traumatic events she endured.

How  is a the loss an indication of Dana's personal traumas? Well, when she was in Maryland, she witnessed so much pain and suffering from her friends at the time. She understood Sarah's attitude and way of being after her children were sold for Margaret to gain fancy things. She witnessed the rape and beating of her Ancestor Alice, and all the pain and suffering Rufus caused her that made her commit suicide. She had to endure her own whippings when she tried to escape to find her husband that was lost there from her previous return to her Los Angeles home. She was never complete after she knew of all the damage the people had to withstand in order for them to survive living as slaves of that plantation.

How is it an indication of a national trauma caused by the dark historical facts of slavery? The way that I see this symbolism of "lost" as a trauma in the historical  facts of slavery is the same way that Dana may have seen it. Before she experienced this time traveling, she didn't really pay much attention to the past that blacks had to endure. She was living in her own time with her own rights. Back then however, blacks didn't have any rights whatsoever. I think that by being aware she lost the naive sense of worth she had as a black woman of her present time. The time traveling served as a purpose so that she could know he family's history and gain an understanding of what it was like to have to live in that time period. She basically had no idea, only in her literature. Whatever she read could never compare to what she actually experienced once in that era. This loss i believe is of her pride to be an American. The history should never be forgotten and that's what happened. This served as a big wake up call and reality check. The mediocre rights people have come from the suffering of others and that should never be ignored or forgotten.

Are you also mutilated by the counrty being founded on slavery? I think that people that have survived all the past and live in a time like ours, they have to feel some anger and pain. Anyone who had an ancestor that was a slave would know that it was not an easy life. The fantasys created were done to convince themselves that what they were doing wasn't wrong, but it was. That lifestyle is not right for anyone, and people that had slaves just wanted to pretend everything was fine. I believe that America is mutilated, that's why there is so much hate and crime. There isn't real unity with people, they have just accepted it and moved on, but the real feelings will just be underlying and never fully come out because people have gone with their time.

How can these traumas be healed? I don't think that they ever can be, I think it's all a mask of hidden resentment. Everyone worries about themselves now and for their families and friends. We live in fast paced life where things need to be done and everyone is basically in their own world, not really caring for anyone else. I think these are the effects of all the past. Once everyone had their "rights" thats all they cared for. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I believe slavery still extist in different forms. I think that people just don't think about it because they want to turn a blind eye just like the past slave owners did. They don't want to think that what we all have is through the expense of others. Therefore, it is just a continuation of history in a milder form.

What would it take for America to get home, or for us to be at home with the memory of slavery? People are at home with slavery, they just don't think about it. They hold their celebrations for the 4th of July. No one thinks about the past. They live in the now and in the present we don't talk about slavery. People know it was bad so they prefer not to mention it. People have moved on like i stated above, and they carry on about their lives not thinking about the lives of others.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! It looks like you put a lot of work into this.

    I especially like the idea "The mediocre rights people have come from the suffering of others and that should never be ignored or forgotten."--It is true that we have what we have thanks to the sacrifice of many who came before us... and that is why Butler is so intent on showing how the Sarahs are, in a way, heroic.

    But not all is this dark, no? There *are* many people out there who work for more rights and a better life for everyone. And we are a bit better off than we used to be: some women can be people, some children can be people...maybe with time...