Study Guide

Kindred Power

By Octavia Estelle Butler


If you could find one general theme that covers every issue in Kindred, power would be a pretty good one. Whether it's gender, race, or class, nearly all the relationships in this book cause us to stop and think about how power influences every aspect of our experience and the experiences of those around us. Power can make us do insane things and it can make us do great things. The trick is to remember which is which, especially when power works so hard to cloud our judgment and forces us into hasty decisions.

Questions About Power

  1. Who do you think has more power in this book, Dana or Rufus? Why?
  2. Who is the most powerless person in this book? Why?
  3. How does Rufus' power change as he grows into an adult? How does he use it differently?
  4. What is Rufus' biggest source of power over Dana? What is her biggest source of power over him?

Chew on This

In Kindred, we learn that power is the main ingredient in almost every human relationship.

Kindred shows us that you can only have genuine connections between people when you take power out of the equation.

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