The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

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Slavery was a historically significant, yet dehumanizing period the United States encountered; the period conveys a reminder to humanity that individuals are created equal, as stated in our Constitution. One individual holds vivid memories of this dark period, she presents her anecdotes through the perception of a young woman, Linda Brent. The novel, Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, primarily identifies the hardships slavery imposed upon African Americans, specifically Linda, during the period of slavery in the mid 1800’s and express how the fetters of slavery prohibit the main character from obtaining human rights sprouted from freedom. Although she battles the repercussions of slave laws and cruel slave owners, Linda escapes the oppression of racism and captures her entitled freedom. Throughout the novel, Linda encounters events that degrade her title as a mother, a daughter and a nursemaid due to the laws of slavery, prejudice of the inferior white and restraint of exercising humanistic rights; this hardship prevents the main character to construct a self image culled from the lifestyle of a slave.

Linda depicts the most challenging role culled in the novel, a mother, due to the relations with her children being annulled because of white slaveholders ownership over black slaves, and the absence of legal rights to a slave. Slavery severs the ties a slave holds to their children because of the ideology of slaves being property, it is declared that a child of a slave is owned by the slaveholder the child’s identity is entitled to the purchaser. In the novel, Linda’s two children are determined ownership between two slaveholders due to Linda’s custody of her children, “... my poor children were between ...


... middle of paper ...


...in the beginning of her journey as a slave, her perception of slavery is seen as pure and a constructed lifestyle. Linda is inflicted by constant verbal abuse from her next slave owner, and physical altercations happen on rare occasions, although her master swears to not make physical contact with her. In the discovery of her pregnancy, Linda is forced to tell her master about the instance, he becomes furious with her and makes physical threats towards her and degrades her for being impure. (Jacobs. Pg, 52) These altercations with her owners makes Linda’s search for her self-identity difficult due to the deterioration of her self image.
The laws of slavery highlight the dehumanizing treatment of black individual’s during the nineteenth century and present how inhumane and uncivilized the South population was constructed into. Slavery presents a reminder to humanity.

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