Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

1343 words - 5 pages

Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

The feminist movement sought to gain rights for women. Many feminist during the early nineteenth century fought for the abolition of slavery around the world. The slave narrative became a powerful feminist tool in the nineteenth century. Black and white women are fictionalized and objectified in the slave narrative. White women are idealized as pure, angelic, and chaste while black woman are idealized as exotic and contained an uncontrollable, savage sexuality. Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl, brought the sexual oppression of captive black women into the public and political arena.

Harriet Jacobs takes a great risk writing her trials as a house servant in the south and a fugitive in the north. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl gives a true account of the brutality slavery held for women. A perspective that was relatively secretive during Jacobs’ time. Jacobs’ narrative focuses on subjugation due to race but it also portrays many women an strong and often open roles. Women in these roles were minimal and often suffered for their outspoken roles.

Harriet Jacobs’ narrative is a powerful statement unveiling the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forth by men and maintained by women. Jacobs directs her account of the afflictions a woman is subjected to in the chain of slavery to women of the north to gain sympathy for their sisters that were enslaved in the south. In showing this, Jacobs reveals the danger of such self disapprobation women maintained by accepting the idealized role that men have set a goal for which to strive. She suggests that slave women be judged by different standards than those applied to other women. Jacobs develops a moral code that apprises the specific social and historical position of captive black women. Jacobs’ will power and strength shown in her narrative are characteristics of womanly behavior being developed by the emerging feminist movement.

In struggling against the brutal dynamics of a system that simultaneously set before her ideals of a true woman, but refused to acknowledge her as a human being, Jacobs emerges scarred but victorious. Her rational powers and will to action facilitate her efforts to find strategies for dealing with sexual harassment from her master, for maintaining family unity, and in establishing a moral code in harmony with her beliefs and situation. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jacobs’ primary ordeal is the persistent sexual harassment and obsessive pursuit by Dr. Flint. Instead of bowing to what appears to be the inescapable sexual regression by Flint, Jacobs devises a plan of action that helps her maintain dignity, self-hood, and family unity. Jacobs took on another white man, Sawyer, as a lover because she knew it was inevitable that she would bear a white man’s child. Since Flint denied Jacobs a marriage to a free black man and refused to sell her to anyone,...

Find Another Essay On Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Harriet Ann Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1370 words - 5 pages ://www.gutenberg.org/files/160/160-h/160-h.htm>. Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Boston: Thayer & Eldridge, 1861. Documenting the American South. Library of Congress, 2003. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. . "Kate Chopin The Awakening." The Awakening, Kate Chopin, Characters, Setting, Questions. The Kate Chopin International Society, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. .

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

1792 words - 7 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl uses clear detail and straightforward language, except when talking about her sexual history, to fully describe what it is like to be a slave. Jacobs says that Northerners only think of slavery as perpetual bondage; they don't know the depth of degradation there is to that word. She believes that no one could truly understand how

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs

1172 words - 5 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs strongly speaks to its readers by describing the brutalities of slavery and the way slave owners can destroy peaceful lives. After reading and rereading the story have noticed certain things regarding how Jacobs tries to educate her readers and her intended audience which is the women of the North. As if we do not know enough about how terrible slavery is, this story gives detailed

"Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs

1047 words - 4 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlHarriet Jacobs is the author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. During the civil war, when she published it, Harriet had to have her character as another name, so that there was no chance of her getting caught since Dr. Flint was still after her. Before she helped any other slaves, even her self, she does every thing she can just to help her children first. Harriet knew that the only way to let slaves

The Tales of Slave Women in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

786 words - 4 pages The Tales of Slave Women In the book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, written by Harriet Jacobs under the appearance of Linda Brent, the writer describes the adversities of the Southern slave in the 1800s. According to Linda Brent, alias author Harriet Jacobs, the life of a slave woman was far more complex than that of a slave man, although reasonably equal in hardships, the experience of slavery for a woman was awfully different. As a

"The Tormentors and Their Influences" Anzia Yezierska. Bread Givers. Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1259 words - 5 pages have driven their underlings away from them to search for a feeling of freedom. When Linda and Sara escaped these men the burdens on their life some what diminished. They now not only have the right of choice, but most importantly the right of opportunity and that is something that I believe anyone and everyone deserves.Works CitedAnzia Yezierska. Bread Givers. New York: Persea Books, 1999.Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.

The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs

1811 words - 7 pages of the only ways that people today know about the way slaves lived, what they did each day, and what they went through. There are three famous slave narratives in history, Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs, Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick douglass, and The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave by William W. Brown. The book Incidents in the life of a slave girl

Harriet Jacobs The Life of A Slave Girl book review

863 words - 3 pages In order for one to truly understand the essence and view for an autobiographical narrative, the author must be extremely personal and honest regardless of their relationship with the public. As a slave girl, Harriet Jacobs found this task very difficult. She had to contend with an audience that offered no support or compassion for women in her position." I had no motive for secrecy on my own account."(1) This motivation sparked controversy

Analysis of The Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacob

2002 words - 9 pages In the story” The incidents in the life of a slave girl” (ILSG)which was written by Harriet Jacobs implies that masters, and slaves are victims, in addition neither of them are to blame for what society institutionalized, not just one individual whites discrimination for blacks; which is rape, extreme labor, whipping and other violence in the act of slavery. As sectional tensions within the U.S. escalated toward civil war, African slavery became

Motherhood in Harriet Jacob's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1778 words - 7 pages parental figures. Slaves never became adults; they are called boy or girl no matter what their age. They are forced into a situation where biological parents have no say over their children. The slave owners control the slaves' lives and destroy the traditional idea of motherhood and family. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl deals with the issues of being a woman in slavery. The mothers throughout the narrative are powerless in

Slavery and Christianity in Harriet A. Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

1780 words - 7 pages , beatings, and murders, these slaves endured much more than we would think is humanly possible today. Yet, white southern “Christians” committed these atrocities, believing their behaviors were neither wrong nor immoral. Looking back at these atrocities, those who call themselves Christians are appalled. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, Harriet A. Jacobs describes the hypocrisy of Southern, Christian slave owners in

Similar Essays

Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

1531 words - 6 pages Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobs's reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. Continuously, Jacobs expresses her deep hatred of slavery, and all of its implications. She dreads such an institution so much that she sometimes regards death as a better alternative

Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl And Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig

2056 words - 8 pages has to stand on her own two feet and protect her virginity from villainous men. She is often portrayed as a damsel in distress, and in the end a courageous man saves her. They get married and have a perfect happily-ever-after. In Harriet Jacobs’ slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Harriet Wilson’s autobiographical novel, Our Nig, both African-American authors incorporate the idea of the sentimental novel into their stories

"Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl" By Harriet Ann Jacobs: A Look At Oppression

1281 words - 6 pages helping their charges.This book is real, the experiences are raw and force the reader to feel an incredible sense of compassion for the plight of this young woman. It is a story of bravery in light of insurmountable circumstances, and of remaining strong despite an oppressive system that seeks to take away rights at any opportunity. Jacobs story is moving, as well as serving as a very important historical document. Hopefully her sacrifices will not ever need be repeated.Sources Used: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Analysis Of Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

709 words - 3 pages In 1861, Harriet Jacobs published her book “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” The story is based in Southern United States of America during the time before Jacob escaped from slavery in 1835 (Reilly 649). Jacobs uses the name Linda Brent as a pseudonym (Reilly 649) and describes her experience as a female slave through a first person narration. The purpose of the selections featured in Kevin Reilly's, “Worlds of History,” is to show the