Dehumanization Of Slavery

Decent Essays

Slavery was the backbone of the American economy for much of the 19th century. The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney created a surge in the need for slavery in America. The cotton gin was created by Whitney to actually decrease the need for slaves by separating the cotton seeds from the cotton but, his invention only rapidly increased the demand for slaves. Even the anti-slavery advocates participated in the popularity and demand for slavery. Slavery is indescribably horrendous. The horrors of this dehumanization and abuse cannot even begin to be described fully, and yet Harriet Jacobs does her best to explain slavery from her perspective in her novel Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl. Jacobs demonstrates the dehumanization …show more content…

That to be safe and live her son had to leave her. That a woman's children must leave her to run a dangerous path to freedom to hopefully become free and live, is horrendous. Mothers should not have to send their children to the dangerous trek to have their children live. “I began to think that escape was impossible” (Jacobs 83) Jacobs escaped from Dr. Flint because they were trying to place more control of Jacobs by selling her children. This shows how women’s children were not their own in this system but, the property of the master. Jacobs rejected this and Dr. Flint’s control of her by going into hiding to protect her children. The destruction of families is one of the most horrendous wrongs done to enslaved peoples.
A woman’s body, especially a black woman’s body was seen as lustrous and objectified in the 19th century. Black women who were seen as objects already by being enslaved, were used to please white males sexual pleasures. “Much greater wrong against the helpless young girl placed under his guardianship”(Jacobs 32) Jacobs is referring to Mr. Flint and his aggression regarding her sexually and her guilt that was associated with this. This brings to light the emotional abuse enslaved women went through. Dr. Flint offered Jacobs to be a “lady” for her services that her prostituting herself would give her more freedom as a slave. Enslaved women rarely had the choice to choose between being used sexually or not. Black women at this time were

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