Analysis Of Harriet Jacob's Book 'Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl'

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“Reader, be assured this narrative is no fiction.” A woman holds her newborn for the first time in the clean warmth of a hospital, another tucks her toddler in for a nap, gently stroking their forehead, and yet another mother is leaving for her job. These are common occurances for women of today, yet 200 years ago this was far from the normality that woman faced, especially women trapped in slavery. In Harriet Jacob 's book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the horrors of her slave life are brought to life, shedding light on how far the ideology surrounding women have come. We still see traditional values expected of women in today 's world expressed in various forms, but the freedom to chose has spread. The reality for slave women…show more content…
However when her youngest was sold, “His sale was a terrible blow to my grandmother.”2 This showcases that while she can go through all the actions of domesticity, do all these things to make her a good woman, her son is still sold away. It wasn 't only in her owner 's house that she showcased true womanhood, "She had long time supplied many families with crackers and perserves; consequantly, "Aunt Marthy," as she was generally known, and every body who knew her respected her intelligence and good character."3 As well as being domestic in her work, being well respected in the society of her town, her religious nature is also pointed out. “My grandmother belonged to the church; and she was very desirous of having the children christened.”4 Aunt Martha is some one that if she was white, many women in the north would say is some one who followed true womanhood exceptionally well. Jacob 's is using her to prove that the stereo type of slave women is false, as well as calling out other issues. Despite Aunt Martha 's life as a pious and good woman during slavery and after she 's freed, her daughter passes away. Linda commented "But her dark life had become still darker..."5 This narrative follows the story of Linda, but Aunt Martha is one of the strongest examples of a women who follow true womanhood in this story. She is showing to…show more content…
Jacob 's did not write this book merely for storytelling, she wants an impact, and thus she actually addresses her reader 's directly. “As you can imagine, better than I can describe, what an unpleasent sensation...”9 Jacob 's is asking the reader only imagine at this point, “you” inrefernce to those she hopes reads her books. She does more than speak in terms of trying to create imagery, she fully includes those reading her book in her writings. “Reader, I draw no imaginary pictures of southern homes. I am telling you the plain truth.”10 No longer does she vaguely address “you” but makes contact with whom ever is reading the book by speaking outside of Linda. It becomes a powerful tool, breaking a wall between fiction and real life, bring the reader to the reality of what she went through. “Reader, Can you imagine my joy? No, you cannot, unless you have been a slave mother. 11 Jacbo 's narrative uses many examples and showcases many times that slave women have shown that they may have fallen under true womanhood, but yet she tries to instill that even in reading these horrors, even if the reader tried her hardest, she would fail because of the unique issues of being a slave mother. “Reader, my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way with marriage. I and my children are now free!... The dream of my life is not
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