Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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Incidents in the Life of a slave Girl, by Harriet A. Jacobs tells the story of Linda Brent, a young slave girl. Through Linda, Jacobs is able to illustrate the lives of a slave girl and what obstacles slave women have to face in life. Within the first chapter one of the hardest trials a slave woman will face is depicted. Linda’s grandmother is forced to see her young son sold. Slave women were forced to watch their children being sold on the auction block at a young age. The mother’s only have two choices which are to give up and simply accept they may never see their children again, or like in the instance of Linda’s grandmother attempt to save money to buy back their children. In the book it also gives an example of a mother who had several children. She knew they were going to be up for auction and she accepted the fact that she would not be able to keep all her children. However, all her children were sold and she lost them all in one day. That was a fear that every slave mother had to face and learn to cope with. The biggest fear for a slave girl is being attractive. Slaves are seen as property so a master can use his slaves for any purpose including sex. As Linda grows older she experiances this first hand with her master attempting to suduce her and also threatening her. Masters used either threats to scare slave women into submitting or favorable treatment to entice slave women into submitting to sexually acts. Along with the worrie of having to sexually satisfy her master, Linda has to fear her mistress. The Mistress of the house can become very jealous of her husbands lust for slave women. She most often takes that anger out on the female slaves in the household. Othen the Mistress of the house blames the female slaves for their husbands lust. Slave women are given the sterotype of permiscuious. In her expericances with Mr. and Mrs. Flint Linda

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