Incidents Essay

995 words - 4 pages

Imagine living day to day unable to control anything that happens, being shoved around like a nobody, and treated so poorly that the only way to escape this torture is to run away. Harriet Jacobs goes through three stages in her life, Innocent, Orphan, and Warrior. Nellie McKay defines the stages in her opinion through the essay “The Girls Who Became the Women.” Jacobs illustrates her life and the true stages through her autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Jacobs goes from being a harmless slave child to being rebellious, through three life changing stages.
Innocence is a very short stage during Jacobs’ childhood. In this stage she is completely “unaware of her slave condition” (McKay 241). In her childhood, “she [lives] with and [enjoys] the love and security” of her grandmother after her mother, father, and mistress pass away (241). These family members help her get through the beginning of her life and try to do what is best for her by making sure she doesn’t have to go into slavery until the last possible moment. According to McKay, Jacobs ends the Innocent stage when she is six.
Jacobs actually goes through the Innocent stage from the day she is born until the age of twelve. While Jacobs’ mother is “on her death-bed her mistress [promises] that her children should never suffer for any thing” and she holds to this promise until she dies six years later (Jacobs 5). Jacobs’ mother never wants her children to suffer, therefore her mistress feels as if she has to take this role over and make sure they don’t struggle. When her mistress dies, Jacobs is “sent to spend a week with [her] grandmother” (6). She strictly relies on her grandmother’s help, no matter what the situation is. The stage of Innocence truly ends when Jacobs is sent to Dr. James Norcom’s.
In reality, when Jacobs arrives at Dr. James Norcom’s, she changes from Innocence to Orphan. This stage brings “personal knowledge and a political awareness of race and power” to Jacobs’ attention (McKay 243). For example, when Jacobs comes across two girls she “sees them embracing each other, and hears their joyous laughter” while being aware of “how soon [their] laughter [will] be changed to sighs” (Jacobs 28). Jacobs knows what is ahead of this innocent “little slave’s heart” because of how her life has changed from the day she was the same age as the young girls (28). Along with witnessing the two girls’ situation, Jacobs gives birth to Joseph and Louisa, which only makes things worse for her because she is constantly worrying about how they are both going to receive similar slave treatment. Daily life begins to change for Jacobs when she “enters on her fifteenth year” (26). Her “master begins to whisper foul words in her ear,” threaten her, and pressure her into things she doesn’t want to do such as sexual...

Find Another Essay On Incidents

Incidents upon Salisbury Plain Poem Essay

1636 words - 7 pages The poem Incidents upon Salisbury Plain (otherwise known as Guilt and Sorrow) is a prime example of Wordsworth’s political visions of revolution for social equality, being weaved into his poetry. In the poem, Wordsworth writes of a society wrought with war and the misery experienced by a vagrant woman and wandering soldier. The poem captures a sense of despair, loneliness and disillusionment - no doubt a poetic representation of how it felt to

Incidents of a slave girl Essay

1967 words - 8 pages Throughout Harriet Jacobs biography of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she brings up three arguments to support her views on anti-slavery: the moral conflict between slavery and Christianity, pain and suffering (physical and emotional) of being in slavery, and color prejudice. Throughout Jacobs biography, she also uses key themes such as power struggles and feministic views to portray slavery to persuade to the women in the north that

Traumatic Incidents and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

1304 words - 6 pages ) stated that more than five million children were open to traumatic events and thirty percent would have some type of brain development problems. Research has shown that the brain is extremely affected by fear or any types of trauma. With these traumatic incidents happening, one factor is Post- traumatic Stress Disorder and having a reoccurring feelings and fear. In today’s society, it is common for a child or adolescent to witness a very

Comparison of Two System Failure Incidents

2005 words - 8 pages 1. Introduction This report will take a detailed look at 2 separate system failure incidents that have taken place in recent years, similar only in their fatal outcomes that had a detrimental effect on many parts of human infrastructure, both locally and around the globe. First incident to be looked at is Fukushima NPS disaster. Second incident is the Tenroku gas explosion accident. 2. Fukushima Nuclear Power Station catastrophe 2.1 Brief

Icy Incidents

1319 words - 6 pages “Ugh,” I exclaimed as I heard my alarm screeching, breaking the tranquility of my rest. As I brought my hand down to interrupt the alarm, the alarm stopped immediately upon touch. I hadn't even touched the snooze button. I shrugged the unusual occurrence off and slid out of bed. Upon touching the floor, the mat suddenly turned to a large flooring of ice. I felt the floor and it was ice. “What the . . . ?” I responded in a hushed tone, “How did

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

1398 words - 6 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl The feminist movement wanted to gain rights for women. Many feminist during the early nineteenth century fought for the abolition of slavery around the world. The slave story became a powerful feminist tool in the nineteenth century. Black and white women are fictionalized and objectified in the slave story. White women are idealized as pure, angelic, and virtuous while black woman are idealized as exotic

Critical Incidents in the classroom - EDSN 694 - essay

1763 words - 8 pages from different backgrounds and different social status. I had the most rewarding yet challenging experience during my hours with special education. I experienced many unforgettable events and situations during my field work; however there was one specific event that solidified to me that I was right where I needed to be, special education is the right fit for my education career. This paper will describe critical incidents I observed in a

Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl

1673 words - 7 pages ' Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl brought the sexual oppression of captive black women into the public and political arena. In the Incidents of a Slave Girl Jacobs revealed her real feelings and emotions behind what it was like to be not only a woman, but also a black woman escaping slavery. Not only does Jacobs' narrative focuses on subjugation due to race but it also portrays many women an strong and often open roles. It illustrates how

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1336 words - 6 pages In the non-fiction book “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” by Harriet A. Jacobs and published in Boston in 1861. The author Jacobs was born into slavery in 1813, in a town called Edenton, North Carolina. Jacob uses the pseudonym Linda Brent to narrate her first person account. The book opens with Jacobs stating her reasons for writing a biography of her life story. Her story is agonizing and she had rather have kept it

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

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

1686 words - 7 pages manuscript of her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. L. Maria Child, a prominent white abolitionist, agreed to edit Jacob's book, although she apparently did little to alter the text except to rearrange some sections, suggest the removal of one chapter, and add material to another. In a letter to a friend, Child wrote, "I abridged, and struck out superfluous words sometimes; but I don't think I altered fifty words in the whole volume

Similar Essays

Famous Incidents Essay

1118 words - 5 pages There are many negotiators in today’s society who undergo many horrible experiences and are able to overcome the hard trials that are placed in front of them and then there are those who unfortunately fall victim to a horrible situation. Over the past couple of decades there have been a number of incidents that have occurred where incidents have taken a turn for the worse. While some people claim that this is occurring because of horrible

Motivated Arson Incidents Essay

1878 words - 8 pages United States” (usfa.fema.gov). Arson cases are very complex due to the fact that it can be committed virtually anywhere and by anyone, including fire responders as well. The motives behind arson incidents can also be a very complex issue because it may have been used as a cry for help or simply as a mode of cognitive escape. Gathered reports indicate that the main reasons for arsons committed by firefighter personnel are to be viewed as a heroic

Peer Groups And Bullying Incidents Essay

1845 words - 7 pages student shooters fired shots from the nearby woods during a false fire alarm. In recent news Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York after another student secretly showed streaming video of a sexual encounter between Tyler and another boy, and Megan Meir hung herself after a group of neighborhood kids created a fake face book profile to taunt her . While there are multiple theories for the actions in these incidents

Crisis Intervention: Life Threatening Incidents Essay

1494 words - 6 pages Crisis Intervention: Crisis situations are usually sudden, unexpected, life-threatening time-restricted incidents that may overpower a person’s ability to react adaptively. During these critical incidents, the extreme events may contribute to individual crises, traumatic stress, and even Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Generally, a crisis can be described as an incident that occurs when people are confronted with issues or problems that cannot