Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

1671 WordsJan 31, 20187 Pages
As a female African American slave, Jacobs had no voice in telling the empty audience of followers the truth about the horrors slavery has instilled upon her and countless others of her kind. This is why I believe Jacobs uses a second persona in aiding her to retell her stories, which is an attempt to draw remorse and sympathy from her readers, as well as a way to unravel the truth behind slavery to those that overlook and accept it in society. In Jacobs’ Incidents in the life of a slave girl, Jacobs uses the maternal character and narrative aspect of a fictional slave girl to highlight, through the many angles, the effects of slavery on African American individuals, families, and lives. By doing so, she hopes to motivate, inform, and engage others to strive for change by telling her personal life experiences through a fictional character so that slavery can be addressed as the root of all problems, first hand. Before analyzing the narrative, I would like to address Jacobs’ choice in writing a fictional narrative instead of a personal narrative told in first person. I believe this decision also contributes to the craft that Jacobs writes with in that the fictional narrative allows for a window of reaching out to the reader, while the personal narrative approaches the reader directly. By using a fictional narrative, Jacobs is able to form a connection and bond between her character and her reader by having a beginning, middle, and an end to her novel. This medium allows for
Open Document