The Relationship Between Slaves and Their Master

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The dynamic of the relationships between slaves and their master was one which was designed to undermine and demean the slave. The master exercised complete authority and dominion over his slaves and treated them harshly. The masters’ perception of blacks was that they lacked self-discipline and morality. They justified slavery by claiming that they were training the slaves to master self discipline through work and also train them in the precepts of God. Not all masters were harsh and cruel. Some treated their slaves with kindness and subsequently were well loved. However, it still emerges that a majority of even the kindest masters still did not attach much humane value to their slaves. This has been exemplified in that despite amicable relationships, the slaves were rarely freed but instead passed on to other masters after the demise of their master like any other property owned by the late master.

Slave women were also subjected to sexual abuse by their masters. The masters demanded sexual relations from the slave women they found desirable. They did this without any consideration of their own personal marital status and that of the slave. There was tension between slave husbands of abused women and their masters often resulting in fights between the two. Slave women were also subjected to jealousy and rage from mistresses whose husbands’ engaged in these illicit affairs. In conclusion, the slave could not expect to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with the master. The very essence of slavery was cruel and demeaning, making it difficult for any meaningful and mutually satisfying relationship to exist.


This paper explores the relations that existed between slaves and their masters as portrayed by Jaco...

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...d mistresses. The children caused tension between mistresses and slave women. The mistresses had to deal with the results of their husband’s infidelity . They were usually powerless and there and at that time, divorce was not an option. Due to jealousy and rage they often took out their anger on the slave women and her slave children. The slave husbands had no control over their masters forcing their wives into having sexual relations with them. This sometimes caused severe tensions between the husbands and their masters.


It is clear that the master slave relationship was generally one of fear, tension and dominion. The slave had no rights over himself and was expected to be subject to the master in all things. As with the every rule, there weress exceptions to this trend. Some masters treated their slaves with exceptional kindness and humaneness.