Kindred

Tom Weylin Character Analysis

Rufus’ father. Tom is a harsh master to his slaves, but Dana notes that Tom is not an entirely cruel man. Tom does what he thinks is right for a man of his standing during this time period, which means putting black people “in their place” when he feels they are being too presumptuous and whipping them himself when they “deserve” punishment. Tom is also cold and distant to his own son, up to and including whipping Rufus. Tom is very dismissive of his wife Margaret. Though Tom is not necessarily a bad man, he does represent the harmful actions that many men in the south during this time period committed in order to assert their masculinity and privilege in society.

Tom Weylin Quotes in Kindred

The Kindred quotes below are all either spoken by Tom Weylin or refer to Tom Weylin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Beacon Press edition of Kindred published in 2009.
Chapter 3: The Fall Quotes

The expression in her eyes had gone from sadness—she seemed almost ready to cry—to anger. Quiet, almost frightening anger. Her husband dead, three children sold, the fourth defective, and her having to thank God for the defect. She had reason for more than anger. How amazing that Weylin had sold her children and still kept her to cook his meals. How amazing that he was still alive.

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Sarah, Tom Weylin, Carrie
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4: The Fight Quotes

His father wasn't the monster he could have been with the power he held over his slaves. He wasn't a monster at all. Just an ordinary man who sometimes did the monstrous things his society said were legal and proper. But I had seen no particular fairness in him. He did as he pleased. If you told him he wasn't being fair, he would whip you for talking back.

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Rufus Weylin, Tom Weylin
Related Symbols: The Whip
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

"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."
"Does that bother you?"
"No! It's one of the few things about him I can respect."
"It's one of the few things about him you should copy."

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Rufus Weylin (speaker), Tom Weylin
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5: The Storm Quotes

South African whites had always struck me as people who would have been happier living in the nineteenth century, or the eighteenth. In fact, they were living in the past as far as their race relations went. They lived in ease and comfort supported by huge numbers of blacks whom they kept in poverty and held in contempt. Tom Weylin would have felt right at home.

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Tom Weylin
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Carrie clasped her hands around her neck again. Then she drew closer to me and clasped them around my neck. Finally, she went over to the crib that her youngest child had recently outgrown and there, symbolically, clasped her hands again, leaving enough of an open circle for a small neck…. Margaret Weylin could not run the plantation. Both the land and the people would be sold. And if Tom Weylin was any example, the people would be sold without regard for family ties.

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Rufus Weylin, Tom Weylin, Margaret Weylin, Carrie
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Epilogue Quotes

"I wonder whether the children were allowed to stay together—maybe stay with Sarah."
"You've looked," he said. "And you've found no records. You'll probably never know."
I touched the scar Tom Weylin's boot had left on my face, touched my empty left sleeve. "I know," I repeated. "Why did I even want to come here. You'd think I would have had enough of the past."
"You probably needed to come for the same reason I did." He shrugged. "To try to understand. To touch solid evidence that those people existed.”

Related Characters: Dana (Edana) Franklin (speaker), Kevin Franklin (speaker), Tom Weylin
Related Symbols: Dana’s Lost Left Arm
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:

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Tom Weylin Character Timeline in Kindred

The timeline below shows where the character Tom Weylin appears in Kindred. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: The Fire
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...herself as Rufus explains that they’re on the Weylin plantation, which belongs to his father, Tom Weylin. Remembering a small detail from her family history, Dana clarifies the spelling of Weylin... (full context)
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...that she hide for the night and come back in the morning to see if Tom Weylin will hire her to work for the day. Dana hesitates at the thought of... (full context)
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Dana wonders if the black man belongs to Tom Weylin, and if that is the reason that Rufus is friends with Alice – the... (full context)
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...her directions. Alice reassures her mother that Rufus won’t tell. Dana asks Alice’s mother if Tom Weylin owns her husband, and Alice’s mother nods sadly. Alice’s father is in trouble for... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Fall
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...Dana until Rufus says that Dana is here to help. Dana sends Nigel to get Tom Weylin to bring a wagon for Rufus, and Nigel is distracted by Dana’s “funny” accent... (full context)
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...will get in trouble for leaving Rufus behind. Rufus responds that it depends what mood Tom Weylin is in. Kevin then introduces himself, explaining that Dana is his wife. Rufus is... (full context)
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3. Tom arrives with a wagon, Nigel, and an older black man. Tom is suspicious of Kevin... (full context)
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Tom has a quiet conversation with Kevin, then turns to go without offering hospitality to Kevin... (full context)
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...smaller than Dana expects, affordable even for her and Kevin in 1976. At the house, Tom tells the large black man, Luke, to take Dana to the back for some food,... (full context)
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...Nigel is probably Luke’s son. Their familial resemblance is much stronger than the similarity between Tom and Rufus. Dana worries that she will not be able to keep Rufus safe in... (full context)
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Tom puts Rufus on the bed, neither trying to hurt him nor taking care of the... (full context)
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...a free black who taught school, and Nigel cautions Dana about acting educated around Master Tom. (full context)
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...when she was little. Carrie is Sarah’s fourth child, but the only one that Master Tom hasn’t sold away. Dana can see the anger in Sarah’s eyes as she explains that... (full context)
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...on his arm from trying to hold Margaret back while the doctor set Rufus’s leg. Tom has also asked Kevin to stay on to tutor Rufus, as Rufus can’t go to... (full context)
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...researching for a book, but got robbed a couple days ago. Kevin warns Dana that Tom was angry to hear how educated Dana is, and tells her to stay out of... (full context)
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...he likes her reading. Rufus and Margaret do not like to read for themselves, unlike Tom’s first wife, Miss Hannah. (full context)
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...happened, and he has to be reminded that Alice’s father was beaten before remembering that Tom sold Alice’s father to Georgia. As far as Dana can tell, the white patroller she... (full context)
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As Dana leaves Rufus’s room, she meets Tom on the stairs. Tom is angry at overhearing Dana read to Rufus. Dana forces herself... (full context)
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6. Dana is as careful as possible, especially after witnessing Tom whip a field hand for talking back. The harsh punishment serves as a warning to... (full context)
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Dana goes about her work that day wondering if Tom will punish her for sleeping with Kevin. She finishes her tasks and goes to find... (full context)
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...tell white people what they want to hear while doing what she wants to do. Tom often threatens to whip Luke, but rarely does so. Dana even sees Tom in the... (full context)
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Tom catches Dana in the library reading one day, and tells her not to go in... (full context)
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8. Dana goes to read to Rufus again, though Tom doesn’t like the thought of a black person reading to his son. Margaret often comes... (full context)
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...then gives Nigel a spelling test. Though the Weylins usually never come into the cookhouse, Tom bursts into the room while Dana still has the spelling book in her hand. Knowing... (full context)
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Once in the yard, Tom begins to whip Dana. The leather sears through her light shirt, feeling like hot iron.... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Fight
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...when she transported back. Dana hadn’t had a chance to use it in defense against Tom, and wonders whether the consequences of killing Tom would be worth sparing herself pain. She... (full context)
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Dana approaches the house, mentally preparing herself to see Tom Weylin, but is stopped by an unfamiliar white man. Dana explains that she is getting... (full context)
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Dana warns Tom that Rufus probably has broken ribs, but Tom is unconcerned and tells Dana to bandage... (full context)
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...has a fever. Once back at the house, Nigel carries Rufus up the stairs, while Tom calls Dana back. Tom asks “what” Dana is, knowing that she is the same woman... (full context)
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...doctor is held up at a birth, so Dana spends the night with Rufus, because Tom seems to think that Dana’s “magic” translates to healing ability. (full context)
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The next morning, Dana and Rufus eat breakfast together. Rufus comments that Tom wouldn’t like seeing a slave eat with his son, but that Tom will be fair... (full context)
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...so she can send him a letter and call him back to the Weylin plantation. Tom then comes in with the doctor, who interrogates Dana about Rufus’s condition. Dana can see... (full context)
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...he is only trying to help her survive, and that he is the reason that Tom didn’t shoot Kevin when Dana disappeared. If Tom sees the map, Rufus probably won’t be... (full context)
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...best she can to clean Alice’s cuts with soap and lye and bandage the wounds. Tom would never call the doctor to treat a black person, and the only other option... (full context)
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...Sarah leaves, she reveals that she slept with her first white master, the father of Tom Weylin’s first wife, Hannah. (full context)
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...to help as well, repaying a debt as Dana has done the washing lately since Tom has been abusing Tess at night. As the leftovers come back, Dana tries to get... (full context)
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11. Carrie and Nigel name the baby Jude. Tom gives Nigel new clothes as a present, which Nigel accepts gratefully in front of the... (full context)
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...the way to control Dana is to threaten to hurt other people – just like Tom used Carrie to control Sarah. Dana now knows that she cannot depend on Rufus to... (full context)
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...again in the bushes. Dana startles when she realizes that the men are Rufus and Tom, and snaps a twig. Tom and Rufus hear the noise and stop. Rufus drives his... (full context)
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...and she can’t run. Rufus puts Dana in front of him on the saddle as Tom rides up, saying that Dana may be educated but she isn’t smart. Dana swallows her... (full context)
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...tells her not to struggle so it won’t hurt so badly. Dana fights, half-crazed, but Tom and Jake Edwards tie her to the barn wall and whip her. Dana wishes that... (full context)
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...also hiding scratches. Alice tells Dana that Liza was the one who betrayed Dana to Tom, out of misplaced anger at Alice for stealing Liza’s easy sewing job and fear of... (full context)
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...When Dana is well enough to get up, Rufus brings Dana a letter from Kevin. Tom wrote to Kevin on Dana’s behalf after finding out that Rufus never sent Dana’s letters.... (full context)
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...send the letters that drove her to run. Rufus finally agrees, admitting that he respects Tom for sending a letter to Kevin and keeping his word to a black person just... (full context)
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...has to struggle away as her back is sore. Kevin holds her tenderly, asking if Tom beat her again. Dana is slow to answer, knowing that Kevin won’t be able to... (full context)
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...Kevin and Dana to at least stay for dinner and say a proper goodbye to Tom. Dana cuts Kevin off before he can say anything terrible about Tom, and quietly says... (full context)
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...but even now she is not afraid of Rufus the way she is afraid of Tom. With Rufus pointing the rifle at Kevin, Kevin and Dana get down from the horse.... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Storm
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...hears Kevin in the kitchen, noticing that he now has a slight accent similar to Tom and Rufus’s speech. Dana heads in to the kitchen, overhearing Kevin mutter that he feels... (full context)
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...with himself coming home. Kevin’s pale eyes are cold, and his expression reminds Dana of Tom Weylin. Kevin goes into the bedroom, looking at a picture of himself as a younger... (full context)
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...dinner without thinking too much about the similarities between white South Africans and men like Tom Weylin. (full context)
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...his shoulder to carry him back to the house. In the hallway they run into Tom, looking older and thinner. Tom tells Nigel to take Rufus to his room to sober... (full context)
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In the library, Tom comments that Dana still looks young, though it has been six years since he last... (full context)
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...is too much trouble, and begins writhing in pain before he can say much more. Tom and Nigel come back in, and Dana asks Tom to send for the doctor. Tom... (full context)
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4. Nigel puts up the mosquito netting, telling Dana that Tom really is more afraid of her than he is of anyone. Dana has no idea... (full context)
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...sleep in the attic. Yet she is woken that night by Alice telling her that Tom is having pains in his chest and needs healing. Dana guesses that Tom is having... (full context)
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...can’t help but lash out at people when he is in pain. The day of Tom’s funeral, Rufus sends the new overseer, Evan Fowler, to force Dana from the cookhouse into... (full context)
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Rufus’s face takes on an old expression of Tom’s, and Rufus screams at Dana never to leave him again. Dana stands still, then walks... (full context)
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...her own writing when she is done. Furthermore, writing letters to persuade creditors to forgive Tom’s debts is the only way to keep more people from being sold. (full context)
Chapter 6: The Rope
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Dana fills Kevin in on the details of Hagar’s birth, Tom’s death, and the changes in Rufus’s personality. Kevin suggests that if she goes back, Dana... (full context)