The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

928 Words4 Pages
In her poignant autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs offers the audience to experience slavery through a feminist perspective. Unlike neo-slave narratives, Jacobs uses the pseudonym ‘Linda Brent’ to narrate her first-person account in order to keep her identity clandestine. Located in the Southern part of America, her incidents commence from her sheltered life as a child to her subordination to her mistress upon her mother’s death, and her continuing struggle to live a dignified and virtuous life despite being enslaved. Using an unconventional chronological structure (interrupting the narrative to address social, political, or historical commentary) Jacobs centralizes few arguments such as the economics of slavery, hegemony, pain (physical & emotional) and the quest for freedom. However, she admonishes the reader not to be empathetic for her for “…it is not to awaken sympathy for myself [to which] I am telling you truthfully what I suffered. I do it to kindle a flame of compassion in your hearts for my sisters who are still in bondage” (Jacobs, 28).
To introduce, in describing the economics of slavery, historians concluded that although male slaves were generally treasured for their labor and physical strength, whereas females were valued for their offspring. In addition to the terrors and horrific tragedies endured by enslaved men, women bore the added anguish of being wrenched from their children. To exacerbate their continuous agony and
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