Stephen: Monsieur Candie’s Wife?

Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), seemingly not a slave, is the slave that the audience comes to meet three quarters of the way into ‘Django Unchained’. The specific moment where we’re introduced to Stephen, he doesn’t seem to be a slave, he talks back, even picks little fights with Calvin Candie as if they were a married couple. Stephen often disagrees with Calvin’s wishes or requests which just makes him seem like his wife, he always has a nit picky remark to say back but ultimately abides by his wishes. His demeanor with Calvin would get most other slaves whipped or beaten, however Stephen is a special case. The institution of slavery is depicted as a harsh, animalistic, degrading means of crop production and or house work, but Stephen seems to just be the black Calvin, basically making sure all the other slaves are doing what they need to be doing while he somewhat kicks back with the white folk.

Stephen is a special kind of slave. Stephen has been with Monsieur Candie(he prefers Monsieur Candie) since he was a young man. Stephen is extremely loyal to Calvin Candie. When¬†Stephen notices Django’s intent of rescuing Broomhilda, he informs Calvin that he is being played. We are taught, in past history classes, to believe that all blacks, free or not, would be on each other’s side, however, Stephen chooses to shed light on Django and Dr. Schultz plan to buy Broomhilda’s freedom. It’s actually kind of a funny concept that Stephen, instead of Calvin or any of the other white people, picked up on the “offer to buy the whole barn as opposed to just the horse” concept Dr. Schultz and Django were implicating. This moment depicts Stephen’s loyalty and also makes a statement of the different levels of the institution of slavery.¬†Also the fact that Stephen feels so comfortable as to pour himself a glass of wine or liquor in Calvin’s study shows he is no ordinary slave.