Response to Harriet Jacobs and Fredrick Douglass

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English Literature (Classic & Modern)

Harriet Jacobs and Fredrick Douglass

In the excerpts in the text “Harriet Jacobs From Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” and Fred Douglass in” The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” published in 2007 and 2001 respectively in Selections from American Literature, Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs(under pseudonym, ‘Linda Brent’) present themselves as teenagers. How their typical days look like is my concern in the current part of this paper. On one hand, Linda Brent’s typical day while living under Dr Flint was one huge torture .As a “favorite slave” she is, she is cursed to endure the agony of being trapped in inescapable space-between the squeezing torment of an “unprincipled master and a jealous mistress.” She depicts a life at home dominated by unceasing vigilance by a malevolent Mrs. Flint who was forever suspicious of her; that she might be having a sexual liaison with her husband and for this, she daily endured curses from her mistress. Her typical day also entailed a time of serving the master who was nagging and quite demanding, always tethering her around him while he is having his supper with such frivolous assignments as “brush[ing] the flies” and changing supper tables.However, all these were a guise to seduce her. She talks of days filled with threats from her master and being ordered for errands in her master’s office once she proved difficult to yield in to her master’s sexual demands at home. Her typical day is also filled with repeated quarrels with Dr.Flint and his wife with insults flying from the house mistress directed at her although they were kind not to flog her up.Througout the extract, it comes out clear from Linda’s own narration that her typical day is characterized by her being alert at all times not to fall under the arms of the unscrupulous man to satisfy his...
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