Compared to Dr. Flint, Mr. Sands appears to be a man who truly cares for Linda and does his best to protect her and her children. Although Linda offers no details concerning their liaison, the text implies that Mr. Sands is kind to her and that he protects her from Dr. Flint. When Aunt Martha confronts him concerning his relationship with Linda, Mr. Sands promises to take care of her and her children. And when Dr. Flint imprisons Linda's children and her brother William, Mr. Sands arranges for their sale and for their safe return to Aunt Martha's. But although he promises Linda that he will free her children, he fails to keep his word. And even though he knows Linda is hiding in her grandmother's attic, subjected to the most horrendous living conditions, he does nothing to help her.
Unlike Dr. Flint, who shows little compassion for his wife, Mr. Sands shows some remorse for his behavior and tries to protect his wife from his sordid past. But although he has some redeeming qualities, Mr. Sands is part of the patriarchal system that perpetuates the enslavement of blacks and the sexual exploitation of black women. In short, although he does not abuse his slaves, he fits comfortably into his role as slavemaster. Consequently, the characteristics that link the two men are stronger than those that set them apart.