Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
"READER, be assured this narrative is no fiction. I am aware that some of my adventures may seem incredible; but they are, nevertheless, strictly true. I have not exaggerated the wrongs inflicted by Slavery; on the contrary, my descriptions fall far short of the facts." Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (5)
Harriet Jacobs did not write to attract attention for herself. Nor did she try to create pity for her sufferings and find sympathy through her readers. Jacobs wrote to expose to the free states what slavery really was. She felt it was her duty to write about her experiences and let it be known to the public what life was like as a slave girl. Written in first person by Linda Brent, Jacob's pseudonym, she writes through her life chronologically starting from her early experiences as a "well-off slave" to what life is like in the hands of a cruel slave owner. Followed by her escape and road to reach her goals of freedom. Throughout the novel Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Linda Brent struggles between a desire for her own personal freedom and a feeling of responsibility and inseparable ties to her family.
The story opens up with the authors childhood as being born into slavery. Living with her father and mother as "well off slaves." In fact Linda was unaware of even being born into a slavery because she was so blinded by the luxuries of the "freedoms" of her parents. When Linda is about six-years-old her mother dies and she is sent away to live with her mother's mistress who then teaches her how to read, write and sew. Under these circumstances Linda grows in her adolescence with high respect for herself and develops a strong sense of self-worth that later allows her to overcome major obstacles in her life. After a few years, this mistress dies and betrayed Linda by selling her to a relative. Evil takes human form in her new master Dr. Flint who soon begins sexually harassing Linda by...
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