Response Paper on Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl According to the encyclopedia Merriam Webster, slavery is a condition in which one human being is owned by another. However, we can define slavery as an institution and holocaust that has been set in place by insecure and greedy individuals with inhuman desire to physically and morally use and abuse other human beings to acquire wealth and status in the society. In her book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs autobiographically writes about her family and friends’ slavery journeys as well as hers in the South of America. Going through Jacobs’s memoir helped me see slavery from a slave’s perspective, but it made me question religion and the capacity of slaves to measure immorality. It is more than pleasant and cheerful to read the story of a slave girl written by the slave girl in question.
Morrison expresses the atrocities of slavery in a language that I personally have never experienced before. Instead of the typical overused adjectives and factual descriptions she employs beautiful metaphor and a disturbing plot line to make her point. She is raw and shocking. This technique sheds a light on slavery and the purposeful dehumanization of the slave that is almost never depicted in the history books. It is important when talking about the effect of slavery to consider what it takes for the slave owner to be able to treat another human being in such a bestial way.
Even under kind masters, slaves suffer, however, most of them try to find a relief in God. Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery, but it makes slaveholders more sensitive and provides a safe haven for slaves. In contradiction to circumstances presented above, the Legree plantation is the place, where the evil of slavery appears in its most naked and hideous form. Slaves suffer beatings, sexual abuse, and even murder in this harsh and barbaric setting. If slavery is wrong in the best of cases, in the worst of cases it is a nightmare and very inhuman.
There are books about the past that allow people to realize the horrible times there have been in the United States. For example, slave narratives. Linda Brent’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a true slave narrative because in her novel, she talks about the hardships during slavery and rebellious experiences of several slaves. Olney states that a slave narrative must include examples of hardships people came across during slavery (Olney 1). In her novel, Brent states that many slaves, including herself, would have preferred to die then to keep living through slavery.
Dr Gabriel Sealey- Morris English 111 21 February 2012 INTRODUCTION Harriet Jacobs's slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself (1861), stands out from the male-dominated slave narrative genre in its unique point of view and especially in its focus on the sexual exploitation of the female slave. Soon after the publication ofIncidents, which Jacobs penned under the pseudonym Linda Brent, questions arose regarding the text's authenticity. Many believed the book to have been written by its white abolitionist editor, Lydia Maria Child. Doubts about the narrative's veracity and its true author persisted into the twentieth century, and Incidents consequently was neglected by historians and critics alike. In 1981, however, Jean Fagan Yellin discovered Jacobs's correspondence with Child, and with another abolitionist friend, Amy Post.
Therefore Northup’s book played a great deal in the abolition movement of slavery, because it simply provided an account of the true and complete tragedy of slavery. At a time when slavery was already a pressing moral issue, this narrative provided the spark needed to start the fire within the abolitionists’ movement to fight for the rights to freedom that African-Americans deserved. Not only did African-Americans deserve their freedom, but this narrative also shows that with their freedom slaves were capable of living constructive and prosperous lives, just as the whites. Within the first two chapters of the narrative, Northup is depicted as living a very normal, happy life with his wife, Anne, and his three children. “We always returned home from the performance of these services with money in our pockets; so that, with fiddling, cooking, and farming, we soon found ourselves in the possession of abundance, and, in fact, leading a happy and prosperous life.” (Northup, 24) Northup here shows that free salves had to ability to start a family and provide comfortable living when given the opportunity.
1 Lauren Sternbach Sex in American History 27 September 2013 Taking Control Throughout the nineteenth century, when slavery was at its peak, many masters took sexual advantage of their slave girls. It was common ideology throughout the South to view slaves as the master’s property, a view that justified the licentious actions of masters against their female slaves. A majority of these slaves were unsuccessful in controlling their sexuality; they submitted to their master’s desires and frequently bore bastard children as a result. In the autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs tells the story of her experiences as a slave and how she evaded her master’s sexual advances. Jacobs ultimately controlled
Both authors illustrate the idea that because of oppression the victim develops a self-hatred that enforces a desire to change. Within The Bluest Eye, Morrison utilizes the Breedlove family as a prime example of people who desire to be anyone but themselves. Cholly, Pauline, Sammy and Pecola Breedlove have all experienced different devastating and painful moments in their life, but they all are unified by one idea: they are ugly. As the narrator explains, “you looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction.
Many still face injustices of racism even in today’s world, where major inhumane actions such as slavery are largely a thing of the past. I interpret Margaret Walker’s quote in a variety of ways. First, I think she goes out of her way to point out the struggles of many African Americans in an elegant and unique way. The dehumanizing of slavery and segregation is something that I believe has happened many times. It’s easy to study these subjects time and time again and become numb to the fact that real people had to suffer through such conditions.
Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world” (160). Even though the treatment of slaves is a horrendous, thing genocide of almost an entire human race exceeds what some slave owners did or even though about doing. Arendt describes the excruciating torture Jews, Blacks,