The Role of Mother for Slave Women in Harriet Jacobs´ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Harriet Beecher Stowe´s Uncle Tom´s Cabin

3385 WordsFeb 18, 201814 Pages
According to the dictionary, the word “Mother” is defined as a woman in relation to a child whom she has given birth to showing maternal tenderness or affection. The definition clearly defines a stage in woman's life that should be a pleasant and happy experience, but that's not the case for everybody. The dehumanizing acts of slavery are eminent in many novels, such as Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. In these novels, slave women were not suppose to enjoy the role of mother. It was either physically taken away or their mother instincts were brutally effected. Slave mothers had to face many consequences and sacrifices for their life and the life of their loved ones. When reading Stowe and Jacob’s novel, there is a constant theme which focuses on mothers. However, they were portrayed differently which is ironic because both novels are about slavery, during the same time period. The different views on slavery show many incidents where a mother showed an immense amount of strength and the other, a weaker side. How can we contrast the strengths and weaknesses of mothers in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Uncle Tom's Cabin through Eliza and Linda? Linda is one who is perceived as a strong willed mother, but when unraveling her layers, she is not. Then there's Eliza, who finds strength in the footsteps of God making her a true heroine and mother in the end. William states that: Enslaved people

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