Dr. Flint is a manipulative, amoral old man who enjoys wielding control over others. He has complete control over Linda, who is 40 years younger than he is, but this is not enough for him. He tries to force Linda to surrender mentally and emotionally to his domination. Although he does not beat or rape Linda, he constantly threatens her with violence and, as evidenced by his treatment of his other slaves, he has no qualms about inflicting vicious, brutal punishments. Having identified Linda as an "intelligent negro" who can read and spell, he singles her out for special treatment and derives more pleasure from abusing her mentally and emotionally than physically or sexually.
Having already fathered 11 slave children, he appears to have no regard for his wife, whom he manipulates as well as Linda. Although professing to be a Christian, his only concern is projecting a positive image in his community.