Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
In “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, Linda’s self-respect helps her overcome the many obstacles set before her. She was taught by her parents to view herself as a self-respecting human being. She longs to take control of her own life and destiny. Pride gives Linda the belief that although her body is owned, she is free and mentally and spiritually. An encounter with Dr. Flint helps Linda realize that though he has all legal authority over her, she does have the power to resist. She says “when he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in everything; that I was nothing but a slave, whose will must and should surrender to his, never before had my puny arm felt so strong.”(29) Linda’s disobedience forms into a will that defines her character and shapes her future. Linda refuses to submit to the idea that she is Dr. Flint’s property; that he owns her body and soul. She states “he tried his utmost to corrupt the pure principals my grandmother had instilled. He peopled my young mind with unclean images, such as only a vile monster could think. “(44) We can tell that the harassment from the Dr. doesn’t make her subdue her beliefs, but instead brighten her desire to be in control of her life. “Reader my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage. I and my children are now free! We are as free from the power of slave holders as are the white people of the north; and though that, according to my ideas, is not saying a great deal, it is a vast improvement on my condition.”(302) Being a very confident and spirited person, we see Linda never lets in the belief that she is the property of someone else. Though being present to awful and harsh conditions, she never loses her self-respect as an independent spirit.
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