ENG102: Essay 3
Essay 3 is a 750+word reflection on the themes of Kindred. This essay must
begin the introduction of its topic with relevant biographical information on the author of Kindred (for
biographical information, use the biography on Wikipedia),
use summaries/paraphrases/and or quotations from Kindred to prove a thesis, and
support its thesis using at least two pieces of critical analysis. ONE of those two pieces must be one of the
following (all are on Blackboard):
Bedore, Pamela. ”Kindred.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1 3. MagillOnLiterature Plus. Web. 3 Nov.
Crossley, Robert. ”Critical Essay.” Kindred. By Octavia E. Butler. Boston: Beacon, 2003. 265 84. Print.
Davis, Jane. ”Kindred.” Masterplots II: African American Literature, Revised Edition (2008): 1 3.
MagillOnLiterature Plus. Web. 3 Nov. 2013.
McIntosh Byrd, Tabitha. Novels for Students. Volume 8. Gale Virtual Reference Library. 2000. 114 138.
Virginia, Mary E. ”Kindred.” Masterplots II: Women s Literature Series (1995): 1 3. MagillOnLiterature Plus.
Web. 3 Nov. 2013.
Your Works Cited page for Essay 3, then, must contain at minimum four entries: one for the novel Kindred, one
for the biography, and two for critical pieces.
Topics to write about (choose one)
In his book New Politics of Race: Globalism, Difference, Justice, race theorist Howard Winant argues that
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African slavery divided humanity into Europeans and others and that [f]erocious and unending cultural and
psychic energies were expended to sustain this schism, which was also constantly challenged and undermined in
Write an essay that traces the ferocious and unending cultural and psychic energies in which the white masters
engage to prove themselves different (and superior) to their slaves in Kindred. As you write your argument,
make sure to note the main ways in which the novel also challenge[s] and undermine[s] the division of
humanity into Europeans and Others.
In her tribute to Octavia Butler, Karen Joy Fowler writes the following about Kindred:
Part of the impulse to write this book, Butler said, was guilt. Her own mother was taken out of school at the age
of 10 and worked in jobs that, as a child, Butler found demeaning. It took Butler several years to see that
endurance and sacrifice are, in fact, the characteristics of the hero.
Like Butler s mother, Sarah, Alice, and Dana are forced to endure constant exploitation and degradation to
survive and to allow others to survive. Taking Fowler s definition of heroism into account, write an essay that a)
discusses what each of these three characters has to endure and sacrifice, and b) explains which character of
these three is the most heroic in your view and why.
3. What is the legacy of African slavery in the United States Consider the issues that Kindred brings up in
terms of slavery as a system of power and control with the goal of profit. What issues remain What issues have
changed How have they changed and have they changed much
This essay must be a comparison of the issues brought up by Butler in her novel and your own understanding of
the issues as they stand today. You may use ideas from any slide show on this topic in Google Groups. You
may/should use outside sources to back up your arguments about present circumstances.
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