Summary Of Harriet Jacobs Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

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Throughout the years, the effects of slavery are taught to generation after generation from textbooks and from stories that are told from one person to another. They describe the cruel conditions slaves had to work under, the incredible mistreatment they had to endure, and the sacrifices African-American slaves had to make to influence the future of their ancestors. Harriet Jacobs published her book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl in 1861 after first handedly experiencing the cruel years of slavery. She was born into slavery in Eden, North Carolina in 1813. Her book told her story. Her book went into to detail after detail to describe and paint the picture of how terrible this era in life was for her. Jacobs tells about the harassment…show more content…
Upon their unfortunate deaths, her life took a turn as she realized she was a slave and was exposed to her new Master Dr. James Norcom also known as “Dr.Flint” in the book. Her fifteenth year as a slave under the ownership of this man was where the harassment began. The author states:
But I now entered on my fifteenth year- a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl. My master began to whisper foul word in my ear. Young as I was, I could not remain ignorant of their import..he told me I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things (Jacobs,
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Jacobs described more than just her unfortunate experience with her master in her incredible account but she also discussed the scenes of life that she witnessed. Such painful scenes include the event involving her courageous brother Benjamin. A powerful line from Benjamin before his attempt to escape was “ Linda, we are dogs here; foot-balls, cattle, everything that’s mena. No, I will not stay. Let them bring me back. We won’t die but once” (p. 27). The story of her brother’s escape for freedom showed, once again, how powerful blacks were during this time. Frequently historians argue that blacks did not fight hard against the brutal treatment against them. In Jacob’s book her accounts tell the strong and true contradiction against this argument. Slaves fought and stood their ground in several ways. They risked their lives and the lives of their families and friends for their freedom. It is hard for today’s world to come to that understanding because we have not experienced what our ancestors experienced nor are we ever truly and thoroughly taught what their lives were like so that they are completely understood. Jacob’s accounts makes the african-american past life known to the known generations in a significant
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