The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

1292 Words6 Pages
The texts we have read in class portray many different kinds of forms of imprisonment, and the conditions experienced by the various authors and characters vary immensely. I was particularly intrigued in how the texts showed how men and women were treated differently under the institution of slavery. I chose to focus on two texts: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In the personal narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, author Harriet Jacobs depicts the various struggles she endured in the course of her life as a young female slave and, as she grew older, a runaway escaped to the “free” land of the North, referring to herself as Linda Brent. Throughout this story, Jacobs places a heavy emphasis on the ways in which Brent and other women were personally victimized by their masters. As detailed in a chapter titled “The Trials of Girlhood,” slave owner and sexual predator Dr. Flint begins to verbally harass the young girl, who is only 15 years old. He terrorizes her with threats of sexual violence, claiming that “[she] was his property; and that [she] must be subject to his will in all things” (Jacobs, 231). Living in constant fear of Dr. Flint and his intentions for her, and having no way of escaping him, she took a lover and became pregnant in an attempt to thwart his plans and perhaps prompt him to sell her to this other man. However, Dr. Flint does not act as she had hoped, even after she has a second child later
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