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Harriet Jacobs: Incidence in the Life of a Slave Girl - Essay Example

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Luis Calixto Professor Wagner ENG 201-W01 April 11, 2013 Role of Women in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an instance of a slave narrative with special focus on the exploitation of slave-women at the hands of their masters…
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Harriet Jacobs: Incidence in the Life of a Slave Girl
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"Harriet Jacobs: Incidence in the Life of a Slave Girl"

Download file to see previous pages Harriet Jacob’s autobiographical piece is filled with overtones of feminism and sisterhood among African American slaves. The writer describes the endurance and courage of “true women” in the face of many dangers to their honor and existence. The narrative achieves unity through a special focus on women in conflict with the world around them. Women like Linda, the protagonist of the novel, face the world individually, but the support of Aunt Martha and Nancy helps them face the oppression of their masters bravely. The focus of novel seems to be on gender, which brings women of color close to the white women. Linda Brent’s story shows how the mutual support from their own gender made female slaves' lives bearable and lent them courage and endurance to come to terms with their life stricken with violence.  Harriet Jacobs wrote this novel with an understanding that its target audience will be “Northern White Women” who, after reading this work, may influence their white spouses regarding slavery to bring about a positive change in their attitude. Jacobs in her preface states, “I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women in the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse” (Jacobs  10). ...
The consciousness of their miserable situations as slaves is alleviated through a feeling that some women of their own class are with them. In their company they lend a happy coloring to their otherwise violence stricken life. Linda Brent’s relationship with other women like Aunt Martha and Aunt Nancy and Mrs. Bruce shows the strong affiliation between the same gender. Aunt Nancy is a source of sympathy at Dr. Flint’s house. Linda slept with Nancy as she found in her an image of her mother. Aunt Nancy also helped Lind in running away from her master’s house and she also provided Linda the news from Flint’s house during her hiding at her grandmother’s house. The gender-specific bond is above racial differences as some white women also are the part of this sisterhood due to their gender. It is through people like Amy Post, the slave girl starts a discourse with the world. They become a medium of expression for their black sisters. Linda’s grandmother, Aunt Martha is a protective mother “who had so tried to shield” her “from harm” (Jacobs 61). She is the woman who has ingrained in Linda’s mind the sense of duty to her family. She had great love for Linda, and she tended her during her illness without caring about her own health. The grandmother was also a child’s favorite as she gave and made edibles for them. Linda fondly recalls: “To this good grandmother I was indebted for many comforts. My brother Willie and I often received portions of the crackers, cakes, and preserves, she made to sell; and after we ceased to be children we were indebted to her for many more important services. (Jacobs 15). Aunt Martha is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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