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Respectable Trade Question

Posted by Alexis Krivian on October 5, 2000 at 22:47:30:

Hey all,
Just a question here, hope maybe somebody can help me. I understand the economic system of slavery in the movie, but my question has to do with the wife (Francis) and sister (Sarah). Since they help run part of the family business then they are giving their labor to this business in the form of keeping the books, teaching the slaves, etc. My question is, are they getting paid for their work, and if so, in what medium?
My thinking is that if they are not paid in any form, then maybe they too can fit into the catagory of slave (in the sense that they are considered "capital" and "property") or perhaps a serf in a feudal-type system. However, I am leaning toward the idea that they are paid a wage, it just happens to be in the form of clothing, shelter, etc. (kind of a rudimentary barter system). In addition to my previous question I also have to ask what constitutes a "wage"?
Any help you can give would be great.
Thanks,
Alexis


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