Can Kindred be called a love story?


College English II

Essay #3 Assignment




  • For this assignment, write an informative essay about the novel Kindred. Select one of the topics below:


  1. Can Kindred be called a love story?

  1. Discuss the ways in which the title includes the relationships within the novel. What emphasis do we place on our own kinship? How does it compare with that of the novel?

  1. How do you think Butler confronts us with issues of difference in Kindred? How does she challenge us to consider boundaries of black/white, master/slave, husband/wife, past/present? What do you think Octavia Butler’s overall point about power and human relationships is? Why?

  1. Discuss the function(s) of one – three of the following characters: Tom Weylin, Margaret Weylin, Alice, Kevin, Nigel, Sarah, or Rufus.  Link your character analysis to a thematic concern, conflict, or issue important to the novel. (for example Rufus and corruption of power)



You must use electronic/database sources from the library. You need a total of three (3) resources for your “Works Cited” page.  You may also use the novel as one source.


Writing/Essay Requirements:

  • must include quotes/paraphrases from at least three (3) sources (within your paper). These in-text citations must be cited properly using MLA format. (See MLA Citation handout from eLearning.)
  • must be 3-5 pages in length.
  • must have a “Works Cited” page.
  • must have a clear thesis statement in the introduction paragraph.
  • must have a clear organization – grouping of ideas and order of ideas.
  • must be free of grammatical and spelling errors.


Essay Tips/Suggestions:

  • Introduce the story title, author, and year of publication in your opening sentence or two. In other words, include a sentence beginning “Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979)…” early in your essay. You may also include a few details about the author. Provide a brief plot overview keyed to the specific issues that you will discuss.  Your introductory paragraph should end with a specific thesis statement that explains or identifies the purpose of the essay and how it will be proved through identification of topics to be discussed.
  • Begin body paragraphs with topic statements/sentences. You must have a total of six body paragraphs, plus an introduction and conclusion.
  • Italicize the title of novel.
  • Introduce your quotations, establishing the speaker and context, and document properly using the MLA format. For example:


An early indication of the importance of the belly as an image of both illness and healing occurs just before Tayo plunges a broken bottle into Emo’s gut and Tayo realizes that “The space to carry hate was located deep inside, below his lungs and behind his belly; but it was empty” (63).

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