The Curse Of Slavery By Harriet Jacobs

1331 Words6 Pages
“I asked why the curse of slavery was permitted to exist, and why I had been so persecuted and wronged from youth upward.” Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery and knew from the start that it was wrong. You can only imagine what exactly men and women’s experiences were while going through life as a slave. “If you have never been a slave, you cannot imagine the acute sensation of suffering at my heart.” Jacobs details the abuses of slavery, and the struggles slaves went through. She often referred to slavery as the demon, a curse, or as venomous similar to that of a snake. Many slaves wished death upon themselves and even their children instead of continuing on with their life as being a slave. Slaves went through extremely harsh conditions and were abused not only physically but also mentally. Even through all the tragedies, slaves stayed strong and stuck together and did everything they could to assert their power and gain freedom or to help someone else gain it. “There are no bonds so strong as those which are formed by suffering together.” Harriet Jacobs describes several situations in which she was harassed, and abused physically, mentally and emotionally. “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.” Women were abused physically just as bad as the men were. Jacobs never goes into full detail of the violence that was inflicted on her but she does shed some light on the subject. Slaves were not protected from their master’s insults or violence. Jacobs recollects details about the neighboring slaveholders and tells about some of the sufferings they caused their slaves. “He was so effectually screened by his great wealth that he was called to no account for his crimes, not even for murder.” Slaveholders ra... ... middle of paper ... that slavery brought upon her but she was still not treated as equal. “I was particularly glad to see him on Northern soil, though I no longer called it free soil.” Although she was no longer a slave in the north, she was still treated wrongly and looked at by others as different so she felt that she was not free yet. Even through this she found a way to assert her power and be treated as equal. “… I was resolved to stand up for my rights, they concluded to treat me well.” Many of her actions were very dangerous and risky but she got through the adversities of being a slave and a runaway and eventually gained her freedom. Her ultimate goal was to free herself and her children from the life of being a slave and she would stop at nothing until that goal was achieved, which it was. “There should be no turning back. ‘Give me liberty, or give me death,’ was my motto.”
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