Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Topics: Slavery, Black people, White people Pages: 2 (614 words) Published: November 6, 2010
In "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Harriet Jacobs writes, "Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women" . Jacobs' work presents the evils of slavery as being worse in a woman's case due to the tenets of gender identity. Jacobs elucidates the disparity between societal dictates of what the proper roles were for Nineteenth century women and the manner that slavery prevented a woman from fulfilling these roles. The book illustrates the double standard of for white women versus black women. Harriet Jacobs serves as an example of the female slave's desire to maintain the prescribed virtues but how her circumstances often prevented her from practicing.

As the narrative opens, Linda Brent recounts the "unusually fortunate circumstances" of her early childhood before she realized she was a slave.because of the powerful bond she shared with her mother.But when Linda is six years old, her mother dies.After that she relized what a slave mean . she describes her struggles with sexual harassment from her master, Dr. Flint, and explains that this is a common battle for female slaves.she suggests that beauty is a curse to female slaves,it can lead to great troubles. Even those who are not beautiful suffer, as they lose their innocence living the life of a slave. They witness a vicious cycle, where female slaves are sexually abused and the white women are left with intense jealousy. When Mrs. Flint forces her to confess all that has occurred between her and Dr. Flint, Mrs. Flint weeps and groans as she finds out that Dr. Flint has made many attempts at an affair with her.These tears are not for the misery Linda has suffered; rather, “her emotions arose from anger and wounded pride. She felt that her marriage vows were desecrated, and her dignity insulted”. As slave women are deprived of the humanity of normal marriage and motherhood, slavery often prevents white women from enjoying a healthy marriage and motherhood. Linda explains: “The young...
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