Aversion and Desire: The Disruption of Monolithic Ambivalence in Octavia Butler’s Kindred

Abdalhadi Nimer Abdalqader Abu Jweid


This article is an attempt to explore colonial ambivalence in Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979). The significance of study brings to light a major issue which has been hardly emphasized in the existing academic scholarship on the novel. The study will reveal an ambivalent identity in an individual colonial locales and societies. It will analyze and show the many complex ways in which Butler uses her fictional savvy as a medium to broker, affiliate, and project the places, peoples, cultures, and ethnicity to work through the ethical, political, and affective conceptualization of ambivalent identities. Butler’s ambivalent writing, correspondingly, asserts a sense of belonging to the locality in which post-colonial subjects have evolved, and, at the same time, expresses the specificity of the actual racial experience of being ethnic, or alienated in homeland. The study will add to the remapping of contemporary postcolonial fiction and the reevaluation traditional ambivalent identities. It will testify to the increasingly progressive and long-awaited destruction of cultural national containment. The study addresses a vastly under-examined area, namely the impact of colonialism on the native identities of the blacks. Ambivalent subjectivities have always coexisted within and outside the long inherited history of the blacks’ nation, but their text has long been disregarded. As a mode of demonstration, the problem with politically correct perspectives on ambivalent relations and those with the neat postcolonial and colonial oppositions are manifold, including the effects of hegemonic policies. Such hegemonies will be scrutinized by applying Homi Bhabha’s concept of ambivalence as a conceptual framework for the study’s textual analysis.


Ambivalence; Ethnicity; Hegemony; Identity; Post-colonialism; Slavery

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11839


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