This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

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 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' sequence of events focuses on suppression due to race but it also portrays many women as strong and often open roles. Women in these roles were negligible and often suffered for their outspoken roles. Harriet Jacobs' story is a powerful statement unveiling the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forward by men and maintained by women. Jacobs directs her account of hardships that 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 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 judges the specific social and historical position of imprisoned black women. Jacobs' will power and strength shown in her story are characteristics of womanly behavior being developed by the up-and-coming feminist movement. In struggling against the brutal dynamics of a system that at the same time set before her ideals of a true woman, but refused to acknowledge her as a human being, Jacobs emerges scarred but victorious. Her judicious powers and will to action aid 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 suffering is the persistent sexual harassment and obsessive pursuit by Dr. Flint. Instead of bowing to what appears to be the unavoidable sexual wear and tear by Flint, Jacobs's 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, Jacobs knew that she would...

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

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

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

1778 words - 7 pages In "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Harriet Jacobs writes, "Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women" (64). Jacobs' work shows the evils of slavery as being worse in a woman's case by the gender. Jacobs elucidates the disparity between societal dictates of what the proper roles were for Nineteenth century women and the manner that slavery prevented a woman from fulfilling these roles. The book illustrates the

Incidents in the life of a slave girl

1398 words - 6 pages 1. The most memorable part in the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is the portion about Linda’s hiding for “nearly seven years” (Jacobs122) in a place that is not even bearable for mosquitoes to enter (101). Reading chapter after chapter about Linda hiding in such an uncomfortable space was enough to make my hatred for slavery even worse than I had ever imagined. For freedom, she lay day after day in a place that she was unable to stand

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

Incidents in the life of a slave girl

970 words - 4 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a book written by Harriet Jacobs about the hardships she encountered during slavery. The book begins in a small Southern city during the 1820s where Harriet—under the name of Linda Brent in this book—was born under the iron chains of slavery, though she didn’t feel them until later in life. Her childhood was spent under kind masters and she was taught how to read and write, but the death of her last

Incidents in a life of a slave girl

716 words - 3 pages Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl are Harriet Jacobs's reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. In order for one to truly understand the essence of Jacob's autobiographical narrative, one must be extremely personal and honest regardless of their relationship with the public. If it is too personal, however, the reader looses sight of the bigger picture, and does not relate all these hardships to the condition

Comparing Dreams in Song of Solomon, Push, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

3195 words - 13 pages A Dream Revised in Song of Solomon, Push, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl         America was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." However, a question must be posed which asks who constitutes "men" and what is "equal"? Where do women fit into the picture? What about minorities? The Declaration of Independence serves as the framework for rules that govern the people who fall beneath it, but who were the

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

1281 words - 6 pages 1813, she endured many hardships, which she would later recount in her autobiographical narrative "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." She was originally forced to publish the book under a pseudonym to avoid retaliation, and it was only published overseas as American publishers did not want to associate themselves with it. But the story is a harrowing one, and a brilliant insight into the life of a female slave in America.Jacobs' book

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

Purity and Social Distinction in Persepolis and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1071 words - 4 pages The two novels - Persepolis, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, both raise issues of social distinction, and separation, along with Identity and Purity issues in social classes. Social distinction in both novels involved birth status and the balancing of understanding the place of inferiority in their related cultures. In the novel, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, social class plays a role in the significance of your stature

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

Similar Essays

Despair In Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

779 words - 3 pages Despair in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Linda Brent, Ms. Jacobs' pseudonym while writing "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," became so entrenched in hatred of slaveholders and slavery that she lost sight of the possible good actions of slaveholders. When she "resolved never to be conquered" (p.17), she could no longer see any positive motivations or overtures made by slaveholders. Specifically, she could not see the good

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