Harriet Jacobs

Topics: Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Slavery Pages: 3 (1175 words) Published: October 31, 2010
Although all the slave narratives are similar in some respects; Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was comparatively different from Olaudah Equiano’s and Venture Smith’s slave narratives. The major contrasts start in the beginning; Jacobs’ was born into slavery, whereas Equiano and Smith were native Africans who were captured and brought to America. By being born into slavery I believe that she had a different mentality of what being a slave was, unlike the other two authors who had to learn the language and had to adapt to a completely different environment. Although all of them had different life experiences, I believe that what makes Jacobs’ story stand out is that is was told from the perspective of a woman. Through her story we had the opportunity of learning what is was like to be a woman faced with human tyranny. They had to endure a whole different sort of oppression than what the male slaves experienced; the difference being that of sexual exploitation, young female slaves being raped and sometimes impregnated by their masters. While reading her narrative I realized that this was a part of slavery that I hadn’t really heard much about. I knew it existed, but to actually read her story was eye opening, and brought the degradation of slavery to an in-depth level for me. To read about the filth that Dr. Flint would say to her when she was only a young girl sickened me. To know that just because she was a slave that he felt it was his right to degrade her and strip away her innocence was a reflection of the reality of what slave girls went through. There was almost nothing they could do, who could come to their rescue? Jacobs’ plead to Dr. Flint’s wife for protection and instead of pity on the young girls, she became jealous and enraged. Jealous at the fact that her husband is choosing to be with slave girls, who were considered to be less than human, then be with her. Jacobs’ narrative also brought to light a different perspective of...
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