The Longest Memory

by

Fred D’Aguiar

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Editor of The Virginian Character Analysis

Despite his pretense of promoting a balanced view on a variety of topics concern slavery, the editor of the local newspaper, The Virginian, is racist and clearly believes that blacks (especially slaves, but also free blacks in the North) are inferior to whites. He advocates protecting the economic interests of a plantation before slaves’ well-being and suggests that slaves should be seen exclusively as economic assets. On occasion, these views paradoxically exhibit a relatively progressive attitude toward slaves, as he is not opposed on principle to slaves’ literacy and prohibits any sexual act that masters might want to engage in with their slaves. These views, however, always rely on economic considerations, not on an empathetic regard for the slaves’ situations.

Editor of The Virginian Quotes in The Longest Memory

The The Longest Memory quotes below are all either spoken by Editor of The Virginian or refer to Editor of The Virginian . 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:
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Longest Memory published in 2017.
Chapter 11: The Virginian Quotes

Young, nubile female slaves are a temptation to us all, but one that should be religiously avoided. […] If these female slaves are used in this way they engender bitterness in a house between the overseer and his wife or the master and his wife. The slave may even become aware of this influence and exploit it to her own advantage. I therefore argue for restraint.

Related Characters: Editor of The Virginian (speaker), Cook, Sanders Senior
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
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Editor of The Virginian Character Timeline in The Longest Memory

The timeline below shows where the character Editor of The Virginian appears in The Longest Memory. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11: The Virginian
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
In a series of editorials, beginning in December 1809, the editor of the local newspaper, The Virginian, discusses issues concerning slavery. Regarding the use of slaves’... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
The next month, the editor discusses how much a seller should ask for a slave who is later discovered to... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
In another editorial, the editor concludes that slaves can rightfully be separated from their family because Africans do not have... (full context)
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
Discussing the punishment of runaway slaves, the editor considers two hundred lashes and restrictions on food to be fair, since this can also... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
...slaves who have worked all their lives but are too old to do so anymore, the editor argues against abandoning them off the plantation. He reasons that an old slave can instruct... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
Despite considering that young female slaves are “a temptation to us all,” the editor concludes that sexual relationships with slaves should be avoided at all costs. It might be... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
The editor discusses the compatibility of Christianity with slavery. He concludes that, while Christianity answers a spiritual... (full context)
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
The editor discusses whether slave management should be firm or kind. He describes each perspective: the kind... (full context)
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
When asked whether slavery will end, the editor understands the two sides of the answer. On the one hand, he believes that slavery... (full context)
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
When the editor receives a letter from a mysterious Miss L. (Lydia) who asks whether it might be... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
...has not been accompanied by increasing profits, which suggests that slavery might bring diminishing returns. The editor argues that the rising costs might be related to other factors than the inevitable decline... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
The editor relates an extraordinary event: he has received an extremely articulate letter from a literate slave... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
After the previous editorial, the editor receives an overwhelming “no” from his readers. He notes that he received two divisive letters... (full context)
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
The editor receives a letter from the deputy of an overseer complaining about the conditions of poor... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
...the angry white man’s sentiment, feeling that society has all but forgotten poor whites. While the editor does not believe in resolving this problem in a violent way and trusts that people’s... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
The editor writes a vehement article criticizing interracial relationships, which he considers shocking and inacceptable. This leads... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
In the next editorial, the editor criticizes Miss L.’s (Lydia’s) response to his views about interracial relationships, as she accuses the... (full context)