Michael wants to lead a quiet, pleasant life in the country on the farm and hopes that his wife will like to do simple things by his side, like go fishing in the lake, or help him plow the fields, or even to bear his children. He takes Angel to his special, favorite place to watch the sun rise. He attends to her physical and mental needs, and dares to envision a different life for her than the one she lives in, in the brothel. He is gentle and patient, loving and kind, but also has occasional flare-ups of temper when he feels frustrated. He repeatedly talks to God about his feelings, asks him for more patience and understanding, and goes out of his way to make Angel feel at home. He affirms her, tells her how much he cares about her, encourages her not to feel ‘dirty’ because of the life she has lead, and opens up to her about his own past—the father who was abusive and cruel and gave him a slave girl to sleep with (he didn’t touch her) in order to help her feel more at ease with him. He wants to know more about her and asks her questions rather than take her to bed in the brothel. Michael is firm in his conviction of what he wants, but also able to emotionally detach from painful things to process them and think them through. He says he knew what happened on the road between Angel and his brother-in-law, because “it was written all over his face when he came home, in shame.” He does not show much inferior Ne in that he doesn’t suspect the true reason Angel keeps running away from him (her shame over not being able to bear children), but he does dare to imagine that she could have a different, better life… with him.

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Michael absolutely knows that he’s supposed to save Angel from her life of depravity. He also deeply needs a romantic relationship, and one of his earliest scenes finds him praying ardently for a wife. When he sees her on the street, he decides that’s the woman for him, and that God has chosen him to ‘save’ her. So, he pays for her time and just talks to her and won’t listen when she tries to get rid of him. He asks her to marry him, then takes her home, nurses her to health, refuses to touch her until it ‘means something to you’ and fetches her back home after she has run off and gotten herself into trouble in town. Michael is much more forgiving and tolerant than any man she has ever known, but also has a lot of pride in being the man she ‘needs’ in her life. He faithfully ‘acts’ for her, serves her, rescues her, and gives her a life worth living on his small farm, but he wants her to do the right thing and choose to stay because she wants to, not because he keeps hauling her home. (The movie has made him a lot less controlling than the book did.) He has firm views of right and wrong, and never doubts or questions himself or his motivations.

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