The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay example

The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay example

Length: 1667 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 she was forced to endure by her owner Dr. Flint, stories of the lives of her peers, the sacrifices she made for herself and her children, and the pain that her family endured throughout her life. The remarkable perspective of Jacob 's allows her readers to have an magnifying insight into the life of not only a slave but an exceptional and powerful African-American women of the 19th century.
The author tells her readers that in the beginning that she enjoyed a particularly pleasant life as a child until the death of her mother and mistress. 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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...inates the daughters,and makes the wives wretched. “ (p.62) This again shows that the author has no shame of speaking the truth about what she has observed, witnessed, and experienced.
In conclusion, it can be said that Harriet Jacobs lived a life that can be learned from and that she wrote her extraordinary story in a way that made sure hundred of generations after her could read and be influenced by. She did not just write a story about what slavery was, why is began, why it ended, and where it occurred. She wrote a powerful and touching account that painted a masterpiece that described the inhumanity of slavery, the mistreatment that was forced upon her not only because she was a slave and was seen as no more than property, but because she was woman. Jacobs touches the hearts and minds of her readers so that the crucial era of slavery could be remembered forever.

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)