Your The Course 04 December 2011 In the extract from Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl “The girl's mother said, "The baby is dead, thank God; and I hope my poor child will soon be in heaven, too." "Heaven!…
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I also think this quote is significant to me because as Harriet explains, both masters and mistress felt no sympathy to suffering slaves and even proclaimed to them heartlessly that heaven was not their place. In my own opinion and judgment I would imagine the extent to which these people suffered in the hands of their masters, despite the fact that in her childhood, Harriet mistress quoted the Bible and told her that she should not do any evil to her neighbor, it was the same mistress that was subjecting her and her family to slavery. This was a complete hypocrisy and furthermore, it demonstrates the extent to which the whites took slavery as part of their normal lives. Harriet Jacob’s story is more revealing in an exceptional way; it clearly demonstrates her desire to stand for her rights and the rights of other slaves that they suffered together. This is evident by the fact that she openly expressed her sufferings from sexual degradation and enslavement. She was able to reach the hearts of many people who later contributed to the fight against slavery. Jacob’s story also connects many other historical suffering that came before and after her story. In essence, in later 1960s in the era of the civil rights activists, many people were killed and their fundamental rights violated by their masters. In the extract from Fredrick Douglas The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, “Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to- day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?”(184) In this quote, Fredrick Douglas had been called upon to speak during the celebration party of the U.S. independence in Rochester, New York. He had previously made many speeches and lectures in an area of about five miles in Rochester. This speech was particularly important because despite the fact that America was celebrating its 76th birthday, Fredrick and what he represented did not have anything to celebrate about. This speech means a lot to me because Fredrick spoke in irony; he even asked questions about the relevance of the Independence Day to him and his fellow black slaves. This quote is significant in the sense that despite the age of the nation approaching a century, there was no freedom for the black community; racial segregation was the norm of the day. The rights of the minority were not recognized by the same country that they toiled to build. In my opinion and judgment, I would see the pain that Fredrick was undergoing; his speech is ironic and full of desire to get equal rights with their white counterparts who were celebrating the birth of their country. It was an irony and mocking to invite a slave to the celebration of their independence from the British government. This quote reveals Fredrick’s passion to end slavery; he clearly fought for his rights and the rights of his fellow minority black community. He resisted injustice by airing his views about the whole idea of freedom that the country was enjoying. His experience also connects with other civil rights activists that came after him and specifically during the 1960s with Malcom X and Martin Luther King. Both
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In the story, Linda has to choose between her desire for freedom and the personal responsibility for her family, especially her two children. Accordingly, a slave family was a source of motivation or hindrance to slave in their efforts to attain independence and freedom.
Slavery in America dates back to early 1500 as the first African slaves arrived in America in 1501. Slavery has a tremendous negative impact on the lives of the victims according to Harriet Jacobs. The thesis of this study is the effects of slavery to humankind.
Harriet Jacobs alias Linda Brent begins her distressing story with the Biblical words that declare the book’s motive, “ Rise up, ye women that are at ease! Hear my voice, ye careless daughters! Give ear unto my speech” (Isaiah 32:9 / Brent 3). The two literary works have something in common.
She tells this story from first hand experiences as she encountered the ordeals. She portrays in depth, the chronological account of her life as a slave, the decision she has to make as a woman to free her and the children from this conundrum of slavery. To her, it was not an easy ride, especially to a woman.
One can only imagine the harsh realities of slavery until those who had first-hand experiences share the difficulties they have been through. Still, words cannot be enough to express what could have been experienced especially with people who are not very articulate enough to share their stories.
While depicting the painful realities of a slave woman’s life she makes her narrator Linda Brent comment that “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” (Jacobs 64). By comparing herself with other male slaves, she tells that female slaves’ conditions are far worse than the male slaves’ for several reasons.
The African American woman in the cult of true womanhood was a domestic hostage, and also a laborer, breeder and concubine. The attributes by which a woman and her husband, neighbors and society defined true womanhood, as documented by Welter (1966, 151), were divided into domesticity, submissiveness, purity and piety, and anyone who tampered with these virtues would be considered not only as the enemy of God, but also of civilization and the Republic.
Linda’s story endeavours to provoke the compassion of her readers in order to endorse humanitarianism. However, this is not done in the usual way of depicting a female as a weakling who just accepts all that is handed to her. Most writers attempt to bring out compassion in a character by using the stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ role.
Born a slave in Edenton, North Carolina in 1813, she was owned by a kindly mistress and, because orphaned, raised by her maternal grandmother, Molly Horniblow, a free woman, who is the Aunt Martha of her book She learned to read, write and sew, was a bright girl and hoped her mistress would free her.
She being slave for many years and escapes form the situation with lot of courage and hope. Her story is a painful one where she was born into slavery. In her early years she had a happy life with her mother and later she ends up with their
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