Book Analysis: Life of a Slave Girl

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Life of a Slave Girl Outline

A. Background to piece of literature
a. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
b. This was written by Harriet Jacobs under the false name Linda Brent. It was one of the first slave narratives written by a woman and took an interesting view on slavery. From the eyes of not just a slave but a slave with children she captures the reader through a focus on motherhood. c. Thesis/Argument: The most effective argument was abolitionists appealing to both pro and anti-slavery mothers and using their shared experience of motherhood to create a bond between them.

II.II. Abolitionists used the appeal to the emotions, specifically the bond between mother and child. This was an effective way to get through to readers because they cannot resist emotional pleas. A. “I suffered for air even more than for light. But I was not comfortless. I heard the voices of my children” (107). a. Brent was suffering for her children; she wanted to be able to give them a better life which started with her escaping slavery. B. “There was joy and there was sadness in the sound. It made my tears flow. How I longed to speak to them! I was eager to look on their faces; but there was no hole, no crack, through which I could peep” (107). a. It broke her hear to have to be separated from her children. This was a great appeal to the emotions of her readers because she was able to make them feel her pain. Any mother can relate to this on a deeper level but anyone can on the basic level of missing someone close to you.

III.III. Mothers whose families have been subjected to slavery are more acutely in tune with their maternal instincts to protect their children. By referencing this, the author was able to bring new dimension to the argument. A. “I told my grandmother of it, when we had our next conference at the trap-door; and begged of her not to allow the children to be impertinent to the irascible old man” (108). a. Brent was more than upset to...
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