Harriet Jacobs Essay

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Nhi Tran Professor Nicholas Cox History 1301 25 November 2014 Persuasive Strategies from Harriet Jacobs Anti-slavery or abolitionism is a movement to end slavery in the nineteenth century. Many abolitionists and writers such as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Lydia Maria Child use literature to fight for slaves’ freedom and human equality. Another standout abolitionist is Harriet Jacobs, an African- American writer who escapes from slavery and becomes abolitionist speaker. She contributes to anti-slavery movement in American history with her Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, one of the first autobiographical slave narratives. Under the pseudonym Linda Brent, Jacobs uses her pen to describe her struggle for freedom, the pain and humiliation on an account of sexual harassment and abuse that she and other slaves receive from inhuman masters and slave holders. Jacobs utilizes logos and pathos to capture her readers’ attention and persuade every American, especially white audiences who had the political authority, to stand up against slavery. Harriet Jacobs makes her logical arguments to reveal the corrupting power of slavery and the psychological abuses of slavery. Jacobs argues that slavery destroys the morality of slave holders. Most slave masters view slaves as little more than animal or objects, never acknowledging their humanity. Even “kindly” slave holders, however, show themselves capable of betraying their slaves when it is convenient of profitable. For example, Mr. Sands, a slave holder who is the father of Linda’s children, promises to free her children. However, in the slave system, such good intentions are easily forgotten. If Mr. Sands encounters financial problems, he will likely to be tempted to sell his own children to get himself out of trouble. Thus, slavery distorts even the most basic emotional instinct: the love of a

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