Property - Character Speech Analysis


Background Information -

  • A creole (anyone from French or Spanish ancestry in Louisiana.
  • Selfish, self-centered, over dramatic and emotionless.
  • Thinks about how things will affect her rather than others. 
  • Reguards the slaves as animals, ex - 'black geese' and 'glisten and steam like a horse's flanks.'
  • Hates Mr Gaudet, only refers to him as 'he' or 'my husband.'
  • Wants to marry Joel Borden.
  • Becomes jealous, angry and upset when he allows Walter (Mr Gaudet and Sarah's son) into their house.
  • Doesn't want to have children with him, she likes to see herself as infertile.
  • Manon has no problem in holding slaves, but she disagrees with her husband's cruelty and unnecessary violence towards them.
  • Exerts her power over Sarah in a masculine way.
  • Sees slaves as white people's property that aren't good for anything else, they're not people, they do not deserve freedom and they don't have feelings. 
  • Finds it hard having an emotional attatchment with people.

Speech - 

  • When refering to Mr Gaudet, she only says 'my husband' or 'he' - NEVER his name.
  • An impassive (emotionless) tone.
  • When refering to the slaves, she speaks as if they're animals or her pets, as pets are your belonging or property.
  • Lots of complex sentences (having a subordinate clause along with the main clause). For example - Sarah, one of our servents, went into the kitchen to retrieve the meal.'
  • Regular, aristrocratic language.
  • Tends to be rude towards the servents, 'pour me a glass.'
  • Blunt when she's been drinking.
  • Negative verbs when describing her husband's actions.
  • Doesn't always use contractions (ex - do not and don't), makes her appear more sophisticated.
  • She distances herself from what is happening around her. 

Mr Gaudet:

Background Information - 

  • Cruel, uncaring and unsuccessful.
  • He doesn't trust black people at all, hence his cruelty towards them.
  • He treats them like animals. Forcing and instructing them to do things (such as his inappropriate behaviour towards Sarah, she is his mistress but not out of choice.) He can do this as they are his 'property'
  • Takes advantage of them. 
  • Sometimes shows affection towards Manon, he does try to love her, but she makes it difficult because she hates her husband.
  • Sarah is almost his surrogate wife. He's only nice to her so she'll sleep with him. 
  • He treats Walter like an animal.
  • Shows bravery and courage until his death.
  • Like Manon, he believes that white people are superior, beliveing


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