The Trial Of Girlhood And A Perilous Passage In The Slave Girl's Life Analysis

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In “The Trial of Girlhood” and “A Perilous Passage In the Slave Girl’s Life” Jacobs’s narrative emphasizes the problems that are faced by female slaves. She shares the sexual abuses that are commonly practiced by slave master against young female slaves. She does this through revealing the unique humiliation and the brutalities that were inflicted upon young slave girls. In this narrative we come to understand the psychological damage caused by sexual harassment. We also realize how this sexual harassment done by the slaveholders went against morality and “violated the most sacred commandment of nature,”(Harriet 289)as well as fundamental religious beliefs. As female slaves such as Harriet Jacob continually were fighting to protect their self respect, and purity. Harriet Jacob in her narrative, the readers get an understanding of she was trying to rebel against her aggressive master, who sexually harassed her at young age. She wasn’t protected by the law, and the slaveholders did as they pleased and were left unpunished. Jacobs knew that the social group,who were“the white women”, would see her not as a virtuous woman but hypersexual. She states “I wanted to keep myself pure, - and I tried hard to preserve my self-respect, but I was struggling alone in the grasp of the demon slavery.” (Harriet 290)The majority of the white women seemed to criticize her, but failed to understand her conditions and she did not have the free will. She simply did not have that freedom of choice. It was the institution of slavery that failed to recognize her and give her the basic freedoms of individual rights and basic protection. Harriet Jacobs was determined to reveal to the white Americans the sexual exploitations that female slaves constantly fa... ... middle of paper ... ...o avoid disbelief from her audience. She was the first woman who dared to tell her experience of enslavement and how she was sexuallyabused. In conclusion, women were considered property and slave holders treated them as they pleased. We come to understand that there was no law that gave protection to female slaves. Harriet Jacob’s narrative shows the true face of how slaveholders treated young female slave. The female slaves were sexually exploited which damaged them physically and psychologically. Furthermore it details how the slave holder violated the most sacred commandment of nature by corrupting the self respect and virtue of the female slave. Harriet Jacob writes this narrative not to ask for pity or to be sympathized but rather to show the white people to be aware of how female slaves constantly faced sexual exploitation which damaged their body and soul.

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