In chapter 30 of the book Uncle Tom's Cabin the dealers try to get the slaves to act cheerful. Why do the slaves comply with their directions?
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THey really have no choice. They will be punished otherwise.
They act accordingly in order to get a good master if possible.
"Briskness, alertness, and cheerfulness of appearance, especially before observers, are constantly enforced upon them, both by the hope of thereby getting a good master, and the fear of all that the driver may bring upon them if they prove unsalable."