A perspective that was relatively secretive during Jacobs’ time. Jacobs’ narrative focuses on subjugation due to race but it also portrays many women an strong and often open roles. Women in these roles were minimal and often suffered for their outspoken roles. Harriet Jacobs’ narrative is a powerful statement unveiling the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forth by men and maintained by women. Jacobs directs her account of the afflictions a woman is subjected to in the chain of slavery to women of the north to gain sympathy for their sisters that were enslaved in the south.
The similarities of enslavement and skin color are just how much they affect Jacobs’ other identities. As an enslaved black woman, Jacobs knew that her beauty was a curse, and that she was unprotected in the eyes of the law. This significant lack of any protection is what leads to Jacobs being the victim of so much abuse, and indeed, what led to so many others just like her becoming the victims of their abusers. As a slave, she was born almost completely devoid of rights, and as a black person, southern society found it hard to put much effort towards caring for her. Overall, being a slave and Black American did not have the same implications for one’s life, but they did in equal parts affect how society viewed the
She compares the life of men and women in the slave society, and how truly different they were. The roles of women are shown through the slaves’ life cycle, family life, slave society networks, and the civil war. Each of these various aspects of life are discussed very vividly in the book, and serve purpose in showing how African American women were treated so unjustly not only because of their skin color but the fact that they were women, therefore they were the most discriminated against in Antebellum America. Though they were discriminated against their nature proved them to not be submissive and subordinate in all aspects. The terms “Jezebel” and “Mammy” refer to African American women in this time period.
Not only that, Gwin’s book discusses the idea that for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, a black woman usually got subjected to displacement of sexual and mental frustration of white women. Gwin discusses how these black women, because of the sexual and mental abuse, felt looked down on more by whites and therefore reduced to even a lower level than that of white women‘s status of being a woman. . 	A southern white female slave owner only saw black women as another slave, or worse. White women needed to do this in order to keep themselves from feeling that they were of higher status than every one else except for their husband.
African-American women had to deal with all the previously mentioned things, but they were women too! Females were oppressed almost as bad as the blacks. White women were not able to vote until the 1920. Therefore colored women had a double edged sword, they had to fight for freedom, but not be to dominate as to effect the men. Alice Walker's The Color Purple is a good example of colored women's plight.
In the end she is thought of as a "new kind of female hero" (497). She has gone through many hardships and she "articulates her struggle to assert her womanhood" (497). Even with her lack of a higher education, she shows intelligence throughout her writing. She had her own way of getting her points across, one being that a person could not possibly fully understand the degradation of slavery if he/she did not go through it themselves. This is a point within itself because it further relays the fact that slavery was a very horrible, evil and degrading thing.
Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobs's reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. Continuously, Jacobs expresses her deep hatred of slavery, and all of its implications. She dreads such an institution so much that she sometimes regards death as a better alternative than a life in bondage. For Harriet, slavery was different than many African Americans. She did not spend her life harvesting cotton on a large plantation.
Since the author is African-American so she has given the picture of black people in America after civil war, Although... ... middle of paper ... ...es her experience as a woman-slave who has no right to her body, and her experience as a slave mother who is used to the violation of her own body, but cannot bear the forcible extraction of her milk meant for her children, Sethe's body itself with its chokecherry tree scar is written into the text on many levels. When she has sex with Paul D, it is the first time she is using her body for her own pleasure. The pain of Denver’s childbirth is written in through her bleeding feet about which Amy says "it hurts for something new to grow". Through her deep complicated ideas to present slavery and miseries of black women through memories and flashbacks Toni Morrison has probably created her masterpiece. Sethe alone as the heroine of the novel presets all the ideas above, she is a female black African American slave who had suffered from being a woman as well as a slave.
Deborah Gray White’s Ar’n’t I a Woman? details the grueling experiences of the African American female slaves on Southern plantations. White resented the fact that African American women were nearly invisible throughout historical text, because many historians failed to see them as important contributors to America’s social, economic, or political development (3). Despite limited historical sources, she was determined to establish the African American woman as an intricate part of American history, and thus, White first published her novel in 1985. However, the novel has since been revised to include newly revealed sources that have been worked into the novel.
Nevertheless, Jacobs’ female slave narrative would eventually be discovered as an important literary achievement for the female slave and feminism. Harriet Jacobs female slave narrative brought to the fore-front many issues relating to gender and sexuality in the patriarchal society of antebellum America. In particular, the author described how the ideals of the “True Woman” were unfeasible depending on race and class and the refusal to submit to the patriarchal male to gain the power of choice. Jacobs’ narrative’s lack of acceptance during its time also shed light on patriarchal views. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl calls out to women for a break from the tyrannical oppression of the ideal “True Woman.” Jacobs’ work is an inspiring feminist narrative describing femininity and sexuality as related to the Feminist/Gender Theory.