Brutal Slaveholder’s Life In The Hands of Dana
Dana and Rufus might look like friends from the outside, but Dana’s feelings for him are quite different from what we think of them. To begin with Dana sees Rufus as a child needing or relying upon her protection. For instance, when Dana saved him from drowning in the river. Secondly, she views him as a man of his time. In another words Rufus’s personality is the way that any other man would have been in that period of time towards his slaves. Lastly, he is a ruthless and vicious slaveholder, which Tom Weylin’s fault. Just as Tom’s behaviour on the slaves and on his son. Finally, I will explain in more details how Dana’s feelings for Rufus are in the following paragraphs.
As a child Rufus started depending on Dana. In another words, Rufus’s survival was left in the hands of Dana. Just as when Dana went back to the past the first time to save Rufus from drowning in the river. “I reacted to the child in trouble” (Pg. 13). Also, Rufus depended on her to be his companion. Even more, when Alice killed herself and Dana came back to the past the last time and saw what happened Rufus told her “don’t leave, Dana” (Pg. 256). As Rufus grew older he never really learned to take good care of himself.
Rufus is a man of his time. To begin with he treats his slaves the way any man would do in his period of time. Like the time when his father died and then he started to buy and sell slaves like any other slaveholder would do. Like Alice said “He’s all grown up now and part of the system” (Pg. 223). Further more Rufus had started to take whatever he wanted by force if he couldn’t get it peacefully. For instance, the time when Alice said he didn’t want to go with him and she decided to marry Issac. Just as then he thought he should get her by forcing her to come with him and when she didn’t he tried to rape her. “She’ll get what’s coming to her. She’ll get it whether I give it to her or not,” he said smiling (Pg. 123). To conclude, Rufus still needs to learn a lot about manhood of his time.
As, Rufus grows older he becomes more offensive , brutal, and vicious. To begin with Tom Weylin’s hatred for his as a little child had turned him this way . For example, when Tom hit Rufus for stealing a dollar from him and Rufus tried to get back at him by burning the draperies. Rufus “He said I took money from his desk, and I said I didn’t. He said I was calling him a liar, and he hit me. Several times” (Pg. 26). Also, Rufus started to deal with his anger by punishing other people like his slaves. Like the time when Rufus blamed Dana for his fathers death and sent her to fields, and also got her whipped. “I guess I just had to make somebody pay. And it seemed that well, people don’t die when you’re taking care of them” (Pg. 216). Finally, Rufus had really shown his vicious side to Dana.
For these reasons, you understand how Dana feels about Rufus. No matter how many times Dana saved his life, he paid her back by punishing her in one of his brutal and vicious ways. If Dana didn’t have to save her future by waiting until Hagar was born she would have killed Rufus a long time ago. Put yourself in the place of Dana and think about what you would have done.