The Corrupt Hierarchy of Candyland’s Slaves

At the beginning of Django Unchained, it is revealed that Django Freeman is married to another slave; a woman named Broomhilda “Hildi” Von Shaft. Django’s love for Hildi is his motivation to partner up with Doctor King Schultz. Django and Hildi were purposely sold separately, as an act of punishment. If Django became Doc’s bounty hunter partner, Doc promised to help him find Hildi and give him a third of his bounty, therefore he agreed to be his partner. Soon it is revealed that Hildi was sold to Candyland, a cruel, relentless and corrupt slave plantation. Doc and Django immediately came up with ways to buy Hildi from Calvin Candie, the merciless owner of Candyland.

Promptly when Candyland was introduced into the movie, the social hierarchy between the slaves became clear. Stephen, Candie’s loyal slave and right hand man, is then made known. Evidently, he has more authority, power and freedom than the other slaves in Candyland. This is seen when Stephen stood next to Candie at the table with the other free men as if he is a part of them. He even uses the word “we” when referring to Candie’s methods of killing slaves. On the other hand, Hildi and the rest of the slaves live fearfully of Candie. They do everything they are told because they are frightened of getting whipped or fed to the dogs. Hildi and the rest of the slaves are treated inhumanely while Steven is not.

Stephen views Hildi and the other slaves as objects of ownership and not as human beings with emotions. He brutally puts the other slaves down in order to reaffirm his status of authority and prove his loyalty to his masters. For instance, the mischievous Stephen suggests to Candie to show off Hildi’s defiled back in order to enrage Django. At that moment, both Candie and Stephen harshly treated Hildi like a piece of art for everyone to see. In addition to that, when Stephen realized Django and Hildi’s love for each other, he immediately told Candie. As a slave, Stephen should know how heart breaking it is to be sold separately from a loved one. Therefore, the morally honorable and kind hearted thing to do would have been to let them be together. All in all, Django Unchained accurately illustrates the unethical and corrupt social hierarchy among the slaves in Candyland, notably evident in both Hildi and Stephen’s roles.