The idea that history always repeats itself rings true due to failure in truly confronting the past, especially when the memory of a period of time sparks overwhelmingly painful memories or emotions. However, danger lies in failing to recognize history or in the inability to reconcile the trauma of the past.
In Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred, Dana, a modern African American woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her husband, who is white, when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stays grow longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
In Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating and she invites him home for the weekend with her parents Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as awkward attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a number of truths that he had not previously confronted.
Discuss how these two pieces, Kindred and Get Out, explore the premise that the past is always present. How do the major characters experience and come to terms with this idea? What memories and/or emotions arise? To what extent will they be able to heal or move on from the traumas of the past?
1200 words minimum. Use times New Roman 12 point font. Double space. Number your pages. Works Cited. A minimum of four secondary sources are required (at least two of these sources must be peer-reviewed).
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