In Harriett Jacobs’s book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she informs her readers of her life as a slave girl growing up in southern America. By doing this she hides her identity and is referred to as Linda Brent which she had a motive for her secrecy? In the beginning of her life she is sheltered as a child by her loving mistress where she lived a free blissful life. However after her mistress dies she is not freed from the bondage of slaver but given to her mistress sister and this is where Jacobs’s happiness dissolved. In her story, she reveals that slavery is terrible for men but, is more so dreadful for women.
Slave women, more than free women, experienced the woes of losing children. Infant mortality was exceedingly high in slave populations because of the harsh conditions that the mother experienced during pregnancy (Roberts, 1998: 14). The slave women’s personal well-being often conflicted with their role as mothers. Additionally, a slave woman’s children were usually weaknesses that the slave owners would exploit. “[C]hildren tied mothers to their masters,” prevented them from running away, lured escaped women back to the slave owners, or pushed women into greater submission
African American women were also expected to breed future slaves. Many African American women rebelled ag... ... middle of paper ... ...ccepted by others in the colonies. Virginia imposed a law upon people who were willing to participate in such relationships. If they were found to be breaking the law, they would be subject to fines and beatings. Mulatto children usually took on the status of their mothers.
They would have to watch their children being taken away from them and sometimes never see them again. Women had to also deal with their Master trying to sexually harass them. Thus, slavery was indeed more terrible for women due to the facts that they would have to face with many more hardships than men did. One of the many obstacles which women had to cope with during slavery was losing their children. One night a black woman’s child will be with her and the other morning he/she could be sold off to another Master.
In the book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs expresses to her readers the experiences she has as a slave girl in the Southern part of America. Her story begins as a sheltered child, to her father’s death, and her struggle to live independently and dignified as a slave. She is constantly degraded by her master, and is constantly in danger of being sexually exploited by her mistress’s husband. However her experiences helped her learn to fight for her right as a free individual, and to stand up to her sexual predator Dr. Flint. These experiences that Harriet Jacobs puts into words intrigues her readers, and allows her to show the many different themes her work holds.
How torn and incapable she must have felt as a slave mother. Linda also speaks of "The Slaves New Year’s Day", this was the time that slaves everywhere were sold and leased. Many mothers were torn from their husbands and their children. Linda speak... ... middle of paper ... ...or her mistress, Mrs. Dodge, whom she’d heard had been very low of funds and needed Linda simply to get some money.
Second, when Jacobs was talking to her grandmother, her grandmother was very angry about her pregnancy. She wanted Jacob to go away because she had disappointed her mother (Jacobs, Page 4 of 5). Jacobs’s mother was a typical slave who constantly working hard but staying poor and commonly very sad (Henretta, 364). However, if she knows her daughter did not get married, but has already pregnant which meant the child would not have a father, she would get more sorrowing, and had a much tragic and harder life than now. As the time postponed, the bargain rights made many slaves had their free time, and they were making money by growing tobacco and food on their pr... ... middle of paper ... ...ve women to get pregnant (73).
She talks a lot about the pain of mothers who had children that were often sold off and the agony of her not being able to get married to who she wanted to. Another image Harriet talks about is that slaves were not allowed to read and write and were intentionally not educated to keep them inferior to the whites. The female slaves were also often raped and forced to give birth to their masters’ children. The rare few good images that she had talked about only came when she was with her original owner when she was a child and would play with the owner’s daughters.
Slavery would best be described as the complete annihilation of the individual being. Female slaves would be stripped down of their sense of self and forced into complete subservience. This submissiveness was something that Jacobs could not live with and deemed unfair. With the threatening of her religiosity, purity and domesticity she stood up and rebelled. These were the areas that were considered to make-up a woman in the 1800s, however exactly also the areas that were denied to a female slave to acquire or practice.