In Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jacobs recalls her experiences of being a slave through the eyes of Linda Brent. Linda held no knowledge of being a piece of property through her childhood. When she turned six, her childhood vanished. Although she was still a child, she had to mature at a much accelerated rate than children who were not slaves, or of color. Throughout Linda’s life of a slave girl, she depended on substantial family tethers as a source of perseverance, support, and aspirations for a superior life. In a few ways, these tethers can be perceived as a blessing in disguise. Even though Linda’s support system served as an extensive force ultimately leading her to an improved life, the same exact support also served as numerous barriers that postponed her liberation from living the life of a slave. The support system utilized by Linda to aid in her freedom of slavery consists of her grandmother and her children. However, those same family members of Linda acted as barriers in her quest for freedom.
Linda’s grandmother, Aunt Martha was arguably the most significant family member that aided in her liberation of a slave, but also played a role in the delay of Linda’s escape. Martha provided shelter and protection for Linda as Dr. Flint sought after her. As Dr. Flint assaults Linda at her grandmother’s home, Martha exclaims “Get out of my house… you will have enough to do, without watching my family.”(pg 70) As Dr. Flint exercised his tyranny onto Linda, Martha could not stand by and watch. Throughout Linda’s experience of a slave, her grandmother treated her as if she was her own daughter. This led to Linda having a safeguard from her pursuers thro...
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...inda’s quest for a free life, she had a support system that consistently provided her with perseverance and aspirations. Even with this system providing Linda with perseverance and aspirations, it is clear to say that her family did postpone her liberation towards freedom. Despite her grandmother being a compassionate and protective woman, she still has her faults. Martha was so protective of Linda, that she begged her not to flee. Linda’s children did encourage her to realize that she needed to escape for a superior life. However, later in their lives, Linda’s worries exponentially increased for the safety of Benny and Ellen. Her worries drove her to jeopardize her own freedom, to watch over her children. Ultimately, Linda was able to accomplish her dream of attaining freedom for herself and her family. If it were not for her family being a double-edged sword
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