Study Question Essay

826 words - 4 pages

In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Dr. Flint seems to be a character that has quite a bi-polar personality. Throughout the narrative, he is depicted as rude and abusive towards Linda and declares that this torment was for her own good. For example, prior to the house being built, Dr. Flint states, “I have wanted to make you happy, and I have been repaid with the basest ingratitude; but though you have proven yourself incapable of appreciating my kindness I will be lenient towards you” (Jacobs 926). Dr. Flint believes that to treat her with harassment and abuse is a way of being generous to her. It is clear that he finds that he is superior and is bestowing kindness unto Linda. This is also exemplified when he refuses to allow Linda to marry a free ‘black’ man due to the fact that she actually loves him and states that “I suppose you thought more of yourself; that you felt above insults if such puppies” (926). Perhaps Dr.Flint has a superiority disorder. Like Mrs. Flint, he clearly displays the fact that he feels that slaves had no right to a family of their own and were created to wait upon their masters (925). To assert his dominance over Linda for her marriage proposal is dealt with threats to not only herself but also her lover and is also met with a blow to the head (926).
Ironically, Dr. Flint attempts to reconcile with Linda numerous times, specifically after the dispute he passes a note to her which states that he regrets hitting her. Although he does contradict himself then states that it was her fault and asks her to come to Louisiana with him (927). The bi-polar attitudes is evident here where it becomes a back and forth between the torment and a merciful master. The questions beg whether he enjoys tormenting her this way. It is clear that he is asserting his dominance towards her which is possibly why he builds the isolated house.
The idea of disciplining a woman, any woman regardless of her skin colour functions as a means of correcting her to become a docile and obedient “lady”. A woman of the 1800’s was to obey her master and her husband since the male was the head of the house. For example, when Linda finds out that her baby was a girl she states that, “my heart was heavier than it had ever been...

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