The Longest Memory

by

Fred D’Aguiar

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Mr. Whitechapel’s acquaintances, a group of unnamed men, mock his beliefs in treating slaves humanely. Instead, they advocate stern discipline on the plantation, seem to take pleasure in violent punishments, and feel strong hatred toward abolitionists, who want to eradicate slavery. Although their point of view is unapologetically racist and brutal, these men successfully highlight the hypocrisy of Mr. Whitechapel’s behavior, as he claims that Christian compassion is compatible with slavery.

Plantation Owners Quotes in The Longest Memory

The The Longest Memory quotes below are all either spoken by Plantation Owners or refer to Plantation Owners. 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 2: Mr. Whitechapel Quotes

“This inhuman display parading as discipline is a regular occurrence on these so-called ‘tightly run’ operations. I tell you all the evidence supports my belief that as a long-term measure it is a disaster. Contrary to their arguments, such rough handling provides rougher responses. The human spirit is passive in some but nature shows us that it is rebellious in most.”

Related Characters: Mr. Whitechapel (speaker), Chapel, Sanders Junior, Plantation Owners
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6: Plantation Owners Quotes

“Whitechapel, you even got a mention in The Virginian.”

“The death of one slave does not make me one of you.”

“True, Whitechapel, true, it does not; it makes you a fool.”

“And, after all you’ve said, a hypocrite too. ‘The slaves have rights as humans; they are not just tools.’”

“What about this? ‘Show them respect and they’ll work hard.’”

“‘They may be inferior but they’re people like us.’ Lost your tongue, Whitechapel?”

Related Characters: Mr. Whitechapel (speaker), Plantation Owners (speaker), Chapel
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

Your policy of a judicious whip failed to save him. There is only one whip, it eats flesh.

Related Characters: Mr. Whitechapel (speaker), Chapel, Plantation Owners
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

“Our line of work is slaves, we can’t change the fact. We do it the way we think best serves our investment.”

“It’s not a charity.”

“We are Christians but Christianity does not equal weakness.”

“We treat our slaves with a firm hand, we’re severe in the hope that other slaves will behave well out of fear.”

Related Characters: Plantation Owners (speaker), Mr. Whitechapel
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

“How could your Whitechapel watch and not intervene?”

“He lost a son in deference to authority.”

“Name your price. That slave of yours is a slaver’s dream.”

“He’s still not for sale.”

“He deserves your family name.”

“Well said indeed.”

“If he were white he’d still be rare.”

“Let’s drink a toast. To Whitechapel and to his slave.”

Related Characters: Mr. Whitechapel (speaker), Plantation Owners (speaker), Whitechapel, Chapel, Sanders Junior
Related Symbols: Whip
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
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Plantation Owners Character Timeline in The Longest Memory

The timeline below shows where the character Plantation Owners appears in The Longest Memory. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Mr. Whitechapel
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
...manage such a high level of discontent among his slaves. He recalls how the other plantation owners mocked his ideas about managing slaves through mutual respect, and wonders if they might be... (full context)
Freedom vs. Obedience Theme Icon
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
...that he does not call his previously mentioned acquaintances “friends” but, rather, criticizes these other plantation owners for being too brutal and thus breeding rebellion on their plantations, which only generates more... (full context)
Chapter 6: Plantation Owners
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Mr. Whitechapel prepares to meet his fellow plantation owners , whom he knows will ridicule him. He feels conflicted, torn in half by contradictory... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
When Mr. Whitechapel’s carriage approaches the building, the plantation owners are amused and wonder why Mr. Whitechapel would choose to drive it himself in the... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
...himself that this is his home because his father has helped build the club, the plantation owners take turns mockingly congratulating him for whipping Chapel to death. A long, heated debate ensues... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
Meanwhile, the other plantation owners mock Mr. Whitechapel for being a hypocrite, emphasizing that Chapel’s death proves that Mr. Whitechapel’s... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
Mr. Whitechapel feels that half of him joins in the plantation owners ’ collective merriment, while another half feels deeply troubled by what is being said. Someone... (full context)
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
Mr. Whitechapel then resolves to tell the plantation owners about Chapel’s true identity in a mysterious way, starting a new discussion by claiming that... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
Punishment and Cruelty Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Family Theme Icon
When the plantation owners mention the slave Whitechapel, Mr. Whitechapel resolves to finally tell these men the truth about... (full context)
Racism and Inequality Theme Icon
...ceases to be conflicted, as he feels included in the same group as his fellow plantation owners and accepted by all. Despite Chapel’s death, he feels comfort in knowing that his loyal... (full context)