Slavery is a system which forms identities based on race, gender and class. Race is both seen and heard. Based on your skin complexion and the way you speak, society forms an identity for you. A professor did a study on an apartment that needed to be rented and three people responded. One person with an English accent, the other a Latino, and the last one with an African American accent. Just because of the way they sounded over the phone the person with the English accent got the place. Even though you are born with gender, if you’re a female, society forms an identity which differs if you were a man. Over the years women have had more freedom to do things that were only for men. Since women were having the children, the men would have to go out and fend for the family. After a while, women began to gain their rights to vote, run for congress and to do almost everything a man could do. Class is where society places you based on financial situation. In slavery, the system has masters and the patrollers, just because they are both white doesn’t mean they’re all the same. The patrollers are poor whites and the master obviously are richer because the slaves were their property. The system shows the depths of converting into a slave, the life of being a slave and the battle of becoming free.
Incidents in the life of a slave girl by Harriet Jacobs and Kindred by Octavia Butler shows us how those come into effect. In Incidents in the life of a slave girl Linda Brent goes from spending her early years in a happy home to a neglectful master Dr. Flint. Dr. Flint wasn’t the rightfully owner of Linda, but he tries to test Linda’s abilities. Linda endures a seven year concealment to make sure she and her childr...
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...k whore!’ she shouted. ‘This is a Christian house!’ […] ‘I won’t have you in my house!’ […] She took another step back.” (Butler 93) In as much as Dana wanted to retaliate she couldn’t because she was a slave.
Jacobs and Butler both discuss being a slave and having a jealous mistresses. Each one differs in their own way. Mrs. Flint was jealous of what her husband was doing to the slave women. When she found out she would sell them. Mrs. Flint had every reason to be upset about her husband actions but those were things she couldn’t control. On the other hand, Margaret was jealous of Dana because of how smart she was and that she could read. She intruded on a session of Dana reading to Rufus just to interrupt Dana, but Rufus put her in her place and she felt hurt. Margaret just wanted to belittle Dana because Dana could do what she couldn’t do. Dana made Margaret feel.
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