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Octavia Butler’s novel “Kindred” contains many characters that have a lot of relevance to the story. For example: Dana, Alice, Rufus, and Tom Weylin. Rufus Weylin, though, has the most relevance to the novel. He establishes one of the settings of the novel and majorly contributes to the story as well. Rufus also impacts many characters in the story physically and mentally. When the reader initially meets Rufus, he is a young man. While his race and sexual orientation alone give him some measure of power, his childhood renders him moderately weak, and at this stage in his life, Rufus is an empathetic soul.
In spite of being shelled by the message that his skin makes him better than all African-American individuals, Rufus’s natural good sense lets him know that Alice and Nigel are deserving of his appreciation and fellowship. Yet Rufus’s great senses demonstrate no match for the force he is given.
When he comes into his legacy and turns into a slave proprietor, Rufus starts to realize that he has a privilege to control the lives of others, dispense disciplines, and have the majority of his requests fulfilled. A little dictator, he turns on his companions and senior citizens, manhandling Alice and regarding Nigel as a subordinate. This has a major effect on the story because everyone around Rufus is mentally and physically impacted by his actions, thus contributing to the plot of the story. For instance, Rufus supposedly separated Alice and Isaac, resulting in Isaac being sold and his ears cut off, and Alice being left mentally scarred after Rufus forces her to “love” him.
Rufus, also as a plantation owner, had major impact on the plantation slaves. One example of this would be when he meaninglessly started selling slaves from his plantation, thus making the slaves more afraid, and if they kill Rufus they will still be sold, which renders them hopeless. Rufus always calls Dana when he is in deep trouble, but sometimes Kevin comes with Dana too. This affects the character’s physical appearance as well as their mental state, thus also affecting the overall plot of the story.
Ultimately, One problem with Rufus is that he doesn’t know how to deal with certain situations that don’t go his way, and he ends up making bad decisions. He regrets them immediately afterwards and tries to apologize. One example is when he doesn’t send Dana’s letters on purpose and Dana runs away and gets whipped by Tom Weylin. Another example of this is when he lies to Alice that he sold her children, thus making her kill herself. This has a major impact on the plot because the novel now has one less major character. Rufus saw Dana as a replacement for Alice to the point where he was about to rape her. Fortunately, he gets killed by Dana in the progress. In conclusion, Rufus had major effect on the overall plot of the story and made the story more suspenseful and interesting for the reader.
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