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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 217

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The old man slave is a slave who is quiet and obedient. Once the mastiff arrives, it is more difficult for him to not think about his old life and harder for him to be obedient. He listens to Papa-Storyteller and feels surges of his old life in him. At the end of the story, he runs away from the sugarcane plantation. Even though he is old, he defies the mastiff and escapes into the woods.

The master is the owner of the slaves. He is the one who ordered the mastiff because of the difficulty he is having managing his slaves. When it arrives, he has to help it heal from the journey. The purchase pays off for him, though, because the mastiff is vicious and readily hunts down escaping slaves.

The mastiff is a dog that sailed over with a new group of slaves. Everyone is terrified of the dog, especially once it regains its strength and is back to full health. It eats a diet of raw, bloody meat and viciously injures the slaves it tracks down.

A young slave is the first to run away. Even though he's strong, the mastiff catches him. Chamoiseau says that once he returned, he was never able to walk straight again and moved like an old man.