Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself

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Though out her life time, Harriet Jacobs had to deal with many difficult situations, in her book she describes what slavery was like many years ago. This book proves that slaves were thought of as property and they were handed off to slaveholders, which tore families apart. Life for a colored person is nothing like what it is today. Changes needed to be made so that people could understand what really happened. Jacobs was an activist in the abolitionist movement who hoped that this book would help people understand that slavery is wrong and should not exist. She explained her childhood with her mother and how it changed after her mother and mother’s master died. This made her realize that she was a slave and not a normal girl.
Jacobs described how her life changed when she was forced to discover that everything is shown in a new light when the people that used to help you are no longer there. Linda starts the book talking about her childhood with her mother and her brother. However, soon Linda is separated from her family and moves to a new master who is younger than her. She has to listen to her master’s father who is Dr. Flint since her master is not old enough to make decisions on her own. She soon learns that Dr. Flint is trying to seduce her and she knew that he was “the father of eleven slaves” (p. 35) making her a target since no mother slave dared to say who the real father was. She had seen how families are broken apart never to see each other again since her family was one of them. Her father was also a free white man and she understood that she cannot be labeled as a white girl instead of a black slave. She was just like the eleven slaves that were brought into the world. She informs her audience that she knew what wa...

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...don’t have to explain to others. We are also allowed to be our own master and aren’t controlled by someone else for their benefit. Slaves in the past had to worry about their children being taken away from them and never to be seen again. Some parts of the book really made me think about what my life would have been if I was a slave in that time period, and to go through all the pain and suffering that slaves went through and stilled lived. I would never run away from my problem but rather face them. Linda on the other hand, could not have done the same thing. Linda’s is a very strong woman who puts her family before anything else in the world, unlike some people in this time.

Works Cited

Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Ed. Lydia Maria Child and Jean Fagan. Yellin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. Print.
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