Kindred Quotes

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Kindred Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
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Kindred Quotes Showing 1-30 of 54
“Better to stay alive," I said. "At least while there's a chance to get free." I thought of the sleeping pills in my bag and wondered just how great a hypocrite I was. It was so easy to advise other people to live with their pain.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Repressive societies always seemed to understand the danger of "wrong" ideas.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“That educated didn’t mean smart. He had a point. Nothing in my education or knowledge of the future had helped me to escape. Yet in a few years an illiterate runaway named Harriet Tubman would make nineteen trips into this country and lead three hundred fugitives to freedom.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“...I realized that I knew less about loneliness than I had thought - and much less than I would know when he went away.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“The ease. Us, the children… I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Like all good works of fiction, it lies like the truth.”
Robert Crossley, Kindred
“As a kind of castaway myself, I was happy to escape into the fictional world of someone else's trouble.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“I'd rather see the others."
"What others?"
"The ones who make it. The ones living in freedom now."
"If any do."
"They do."
"Some say they do. It's like dying, though, and going to heaven. Nobody ever comes back to tell you about it.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“She means the devil with people who say you're anything but what you are.”
Octavia Butler, Kindred
“Then, somehow, I got caught up in one of Kevin's World War II books - a book of excerpts from the recollections of concentration camp survivors. Stories of beatings, starvation, filth, disease, torture, every possible degradation. As though the Germans had been trying to do in only a few years what the Americans had worked at for nearly two hundred.

... Like the Nazis, antebellum whites had known quite a bit about torture - quite a bit more than I ever wanted to learn.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“I closed my eyes and saw the children playing their game again. 'The ease seemed so frightening.' I said. 'Now I see why.'
'What?'
'The ease. Us, the children ... I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“There are so many interesting times we could have visited.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“in an interview Butler has stated that the meaning of the amputation is clear enough: “I couldn’t really let her come all the way back. I couldn’t let her return to what she was, I couldn’t let her come back whole and that, I think, really symbolizes her not coming back whole. Antebellum slavery didn’t leave people quite whole.”1 Time”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Rufus had caused her trouble, and now he had been rewarded for it. It made no sense. No matter how kindly he treated her now that he had destroyed her, it made no sense.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Sometimes I wrote things because I couldn't say them, couldn't sort out my feelings about them, couldn't keep them bottled inside me.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Slavery was a long slow process of dulling.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Strangely, they seemed to like him, hold him in contempt, and fear him all at the same time. This confused me because I felt just about the same mixture of emotions for him myself. I had thought my feelings were complicated because he and I had such a strange relationship. But then, slavery of any kind fostered strange relationships. Only the overseer drew simple, unconflicting emotions of hatred and fear when he appeared briefly. But then, it was part of the overseer’s job to be hated and feared while the master kept his hands clean.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“She lowered her voice to a whisper. “You need to look at some of the niggers they catch and bring back,” she said. “You need to see them—starving, ’bout naked, whipped, dragged, bit by dogs … You need to see them.” “I’d rather see the others.” “What others?” “The ones who make it. The ones living in freedom now.” “If any do.” “They do.” “Some say they do. It’s like dying, though, and going to heaven. Nobody ever comes back to tell you about it.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“I lost an arm on my last trip home.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“She went to him. She adjusted, became a quieter more subdued person. She didn't kill, but she seemed to die a little.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“I couldn’t let her come back whole and that, I think, really symbolizes her not coming back whole. Antebellum slavery didn’t leave people quite whole.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“She means it doesn't come off, Dana... The black. She means the devil with people who say you're anything but what you are.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Frankly, it never occurred to me that I needed someone who looked like me to show me the way. I was ignorant and arrogant and persistent and the writing left me no choice at all.”9”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“even people who loved me could demand more of me than I could give—and expect their demands to be met simply because I owed them. I”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Daddy’s the only man I know,” he said softly, “who cares as much about giving his word to a black as to a white.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“He led the way past the main house away from the slave cabins and other buildings, away from the small slave children who chased each other and shouted and didn’t understand yet that they were slaves.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Someday Rufus would own the plantation. Someday, he would be the slaveholder, responsible in his own right for what happened to the people who lived in those half-hidden cabins. The boy was literally growing up as I watched—growing up because I watched and because I helped to keep him safe. I was the worst possible guardian for him—a black to watch over him in a society that considered blacks subhuman, a woman to watch over him in a society that considered women perennial children. I would have all I could do to look after myself. But I would help him as best I could. And I would try to keep friendship with him, maybe plant a few ideas in his mind that would help both me and the people who would be his slaves in the years to come.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“The time, the year, was right, but the house just wasn't familiar enough. I felt as though I were losing my place here in my own time. Rufus's time was a sharper, stronger reality. The work was harder, the smells and tastes were stronger, the danger was greater, the pain was worse ... Rufus's time demanded things of me that had never been demanded before, and it could easily kill me if I did not meet its demands. That was a stark, powerful reality that the gentle conveniences and luxuries of this house, of now, could not touch.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred
“Time passed. Kevin and I became more a part of the household, familiar, accepted, accepting. That disturbed me too when I thought about it. How easily we seemed to acclimatize.”
Octavia E. Butler, Kindred

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