It mostly concentrates on the emotional viewpoints on it and what it did to shape who she is. When writing her story, Jacobs had a clear motive. Her motive was one of a political taking. She writes through her experiences and sufferings to make it clear to people, mainly the Northerners, and more specifically white women in the North, how slavery really is. She does not want sympathy, however, she does want "to arouse the women in the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women of the South, still in bondage" (460).
Linda gains her peace by escaping to the north. Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is one of the few narratives depicting the degradation’s endured by female slaves at the hand of brutal masters. Jacobs’ narrative is sending a message to women to come together and end the unfair treatment all women are subjected to. By bringing images of slavery and the message of unity of women to the forefront, Jacobs is attempting to end the tyranny over women perpetrated by men and the tyranny over blacks perpetrated by whites. Integrity and agency are ideals that Americans have fought for over the years.
It is the message Jacobs hopes to burn deep into the intended readers mind. Like most slave narratives, the reader feels a form of guilt and sympathy for the protagonist, but for Harriet Jacobs there is much more to be felt. Freedom is arguably life’s greatest gifts and it being taken away can sometimes be a fate worse than death. In Harriet Jacob’s narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she tells a story of the painful truths that plagued slave women in the nineteenth century. It is a story that deserves to be read long after this period of time.
These experiences that Harriet Jacobs puts into words intrigues her readers, and allows her to show the many different themes her work holds. Family and community serve a great purpose in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Slavery dehumanized people, and made human beings look upon slaves as less then human. Slavery wanted its slaves to become nameless items, instead of living breathing human beings. Most slaves fell into anger, depression, and lifelessness many were able to not only survive, but thrive due to their family.
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.
Jacobs’ life story gives a glimpse into how enslaved women lived, the challenges they faced, and how they were treated by unenslaved white women, namely their owners wives. Despite Jacobs’ treatment perhaps being on the more extreme end of the spectrum, her experiences should not be discounted or thought of as abnormal, but rather as a face for the millions of others who were treated similarly. Enslaved women were repeatedly reminded of their status by their masters, and regardless of their shared gender status, this inequality was often enforced by their mistresses. Despite stereotypes of having being more compassionate than their husbands, in some cases slave owners’ wives were crueler towards slaves as a way to maintain control. In Jacobs’ experience, mistresses often felt jealous or insecure of their husbands relations to their female slaves, and because of this were absolved of any feelings of female solidarity.
When somebody reflects the hardships of slavery, they typically think solely of the treatment towards African Americans. What most people are not aware of is how women were treated, whether they were of color or not. In Harriet Jacobs book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she explains “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, and sufferings, and mortifications peculiarly their own.” The cruel treatment towards female slaves and the struggles held by Southern women during the Civil war are disregarded by the majority of people today, even though it is a significant part of American history and still affects society. Slaveholders would often rape and impregnate their slave women, and then never let the women care for their mixed children.
The purpose of the book is to demonstrate how slavery crippled African American slaves from defending themselves due to oppression, particularly women. The trial of Celia, A Slave opens a gateway where people’s morals and actions were put into question after the death of her master. Themes such as gender oppression, chattel slavery, race, prejudice, revolt are some themes present in Celia,
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl In the excerpt of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Harriet Jacobs aims to convince her readers how slavery effects young girl 's life’s. She wields control over her audience because of the nature of the autobiography. Autobiographical works are based in that only one point of view is presented and that is the point of view of the protagonist. Jacobs uses rhetorical strategies and maneuvers to shape the reactions of their readers in her narrative. She repeatedly includes realistic images of brutality at the hands of the slave-owners, constantly uses an emotional appeal, connotation, and euphemism.
They worked also hard in trying to hide secrets that they had seen and heard and often times were regarded as second rate by the woman that they indeed worked for. Jacobs would tell her story of anguish in her Memoir “ Incidents in the life of a slave girl.” Jacobs would write down her accounts to allow the others in the northern states to see what a slave in the southern states endured, and the conflicts that they were inflicted with on a daily basis. Jacobs also tells of unhappy Newer in which she is referring to the time of year when they are sold off into families and must leave their loved ones behind. This was especially hard for the mothers that would be separated from their children, which she refers to as “ peculiar sorrows.” Harriet was deeply touched by the removal of children from their mothers and surviving family, she touched on this quite a bit in her stories of her life and what she had seen.. Jacobs touch... ... middle of paper ... ... African Americans today still have deep wounds that will heal over time when it comes to the subject of slavery. Slavery as a whole is a wound on this country's history and a contradiction of what this country is founded on.