The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs Essay

The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs Essay

Length: 1265 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A slave narrative is to tell a slave's story and what they have been through. Six thousand former slaves from North America told about their lives during the 18th and 19th centuries. About 150 narratives were published as separate books or articles most slaves were born in the last years of the slave regime or during the Civil War. Some Slaves told about their experiences on plantations, in cities, and on small farms. Slave narratives are one of the only ways that people today know about the way slaves lived, what they did each day, and what they went through. There are three famous slave narratives in history, Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs, Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick douglass, and The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave by William W. Brown.
The book Incidents in the life of a slave girl written by Harriet A. Jacobs is a slave narrative that was published in 1861. Harriet starts out by talking about her childhood. She does not know she is a slave until after her mother dies when she is six. Harriet hid her identity throughout the book by calling herself Linda Brent. Harriet A. Jacobs was an African-American writer who escaped from slavery, moved to New York were she wrote her autobiography, and became an abolitionist speaker. This slave narrative became a really powerful book in the 1900’s. One review about the book from an unknown reviewer, that was published in the Anti-Slavery Bugle was “simple and attractive—you feel less as though you are reading a book, than talking with the woman herself.” This quote is true, she gets her point across in a simple manner.
“We could have told them a different story. We could have given...


... middle of paper ...


...Web. 06 Feb. 2014. .

Jacobs, Harriet A., Lydia Maria Child, and Jean Fagan. Yellin. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1987. Print.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. .

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. .

"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Writing Style." Shmoop We Speak Student. N.p., n.d. Web. .

BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

- The two slave narratives Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself provide two different perspectives on the institution of slavery. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl depicts a female perspective of slavery in the 1850s while The Interesting Narrative of the Life... provides a male perspective from almost a hundred years before. Although written at different times from different perspectives, both works illustrate the tragic reality of American slavery....   [tags: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery, British Empire]

Strong Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl: Harriet Jacobs Essay

- Harriet Jacobs and The Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl From 1813 to 1879, lived a woman of great dignity, strong will, and one desire. A woman who was considered nothing more than just a slave girl would give anything for the freedom for herself and her two children. Harriet Jacobs, who used the pen name Linda Brent, compiled her life into a little book called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Mrs. Jacobs' story, once read, will leave nothing but pity and heart ache for her readers as they discover the life she had to endure....   [tags: Harriet Jacobs Biography Slave]

Free Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

- Slavery in the middle of the 19th century was well known by every American in the country, but despite the acknowledgment of slavery the average citizen did not realize the severity of the lifestyle of the slave before slave narratives began to arise. In Incidents in the life of a slave girl, Harriet Jacobs uses an explicit tone to argue the general life of slave compared to a free person, as well as the hardships one endured on one’s path to freedom. Jacobs fought hard in order to expand the abolitionist movement with her narrative....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
975 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

- Just like any other narrative, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” by Harriet Jacobs is a narrative telling about a slave 's story and what slaves go through as they execute the socioeconomic dictates of their masters. It is important to note that more than five thousand former slaves who were enslaved in North America had given an account of their slave life during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of their narratives were published on books and newspaper articles. Most of the stories of these slaves were centered on the experiences of life in plantations, small farms owned by the middle class natives, mines and factories in the cities....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Strong Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

A Rose For A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

- 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....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Human]

Strong Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Essay on Women Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

- Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is a perfect sentimental narrative. Sentimental lecture became popular with women in the 1850s. Sentimental themes shown in Jacobs’s work include the sacred bonds, separation, love, death, heartbreak, sacrifice, and emotional feelings and sympathy throughout the narrative. According to Nina Baym, in Harriet Jacobs autobiographical work, Jacobs sought to “capture the attention of Northern white women… to show them how slavery debased and demoralized women…[and] to create sympathy for her plight; she sought to win the respect and admiration of her readers for the courage with which she forestalled abuse and for the independence for which s...   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
2009 words (5.7 pages)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs Essays

- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl uses clear detail and straightforward language, except when talking about her sexual history, to fully describe what it is like to be a slave. Jacobs says that Northerners only think of slavery as perpetual bondage; they don't know the depth of degradation there is to that word. She believes that no one could truly understand how slavery really is unless they have gone through it. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl do not only tell about the physical pains and hard labor that she went through....   [tags: Papers Slavery Harriet Jacobs Essays]

Strong Essays
1719 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

- 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....   [tags: Slavery Jacobs Life Slave Girl Essays]

Strong Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

Power of Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Essay

- The Power of Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs, in the preface to her book, wrote: I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse.  I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the people of the Free States what Slavery really is (335). With this statement, Jacobs specified her purpose for writing and her intended audience.  This insight gives readersan understanding of why she chose to include what she did in her story as well as why she chose to exclude other details.  Although thi...   [tags: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl]

Strong Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

Octavia Butler's Kindred vs. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl

- Octavia Butler's Kindred vs. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl According to 'the conventions for slave narratives', it is possible to categorize Kindred by Octavia Butler as a slave narrative. However, the circumstances that take Dana back in time are imaginative and fantastical compared to slave narratives such as Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. While reading Kindred, one doesn't really get the experience of the slaves, but how Dana feels as she participates in slave times....   [tags: Jacobs Slave Girl Butler Kindred Essays]

Strong Essays
1036 words (3 pages)