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 female slave, Jacobs has a very different story than that of a slave man therefore, her narrative is uncommon in the tales of slavery. She stresses that just like any male slave, women were also hit, starved, or made to work in the hot fields. But unlike men, the women suffer from sexual harassments from their masters as well as the loss of their children to the cotton production. In repeated accounts, she depicts the anguish of mothers whose children were sold and the humiliation of slave girls who where sexually abused by the white man. For the slave women, these experiences were just as hard as any physical punishment the man received, if not more so.
The experiences that Linda Brent, Harriet Jacobs, went through in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl attest that slavery was crueler for slave women. When Linda Brent found out that she gave birth to a baby girl, she envisioned every single misfortune, sorrow, and shame of her own unwillingly inherited to her daughter. Every bit of emotional suffering and physical pain she had felt throughout her lifetime as a slave was about to be passed down to her most prized possession, her daughter; a daughter who would be property. “When they told me that my new-borne was a girl, my heart was heavier than it had ever been before. Slavery is terrible for man, but is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, suffering, and mortifications peculiarly their own” (Jacobs 77). Motherhood, while meaningful, was the most challenging burden a slave woman had to undergo. Slave women knew that their children were born to suffer; therefore, some women assumed that death would have been a better option being seen and treated as expensive but replaceable property. “ I loved to watch his infant...

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