Analysis of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

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In 1861, Harriet Jacobs published her book “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” The story is based in Southern United States of America during the time before Jacob escaped from slavery in 1835 (Reilly 649). Jacobs uses the name Linda Brent as a pseudonym (Reilly 649) and describes her experience as a female slave through a first person narration. The purpose of the selections featured in Kevin Reilly's, “Worlds of History,” is to show the victimization and emotional suffering female slaves feel against their white masters vs. the physical pain a male slave endures.
The first selection “III. The Slaves' New Year's Day,” begins with Harriet Jacobs summarizing what a typical hiring day for a slave was like at the beginning of the year. She uses stories of emotions to describe what women encountered, and stories of physical pain to explain what men experienced. She shows her first example of the struggle of being a slave by explaining the little time a slave has off before it is time to be bought by another master. She then continues on to explain the consequences of an unwilling ...
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