Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Essay

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Reader it is not to awaken sympathy for myself that I am telling you truthfully what I suffered. I do it to kindle a flame of compassion in your hearts for my sisters who are still in bondage." With these words, Harriet Jacobs, speaking through her narrator, Linda Brent, reveals her reasons for deciding to make her personal story of enslavement, degradation, and sexual exploitation public. Although generally ignored by critics, who often dismissed Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself as a fictionalized account of slavery, the work is heralded today as the first book-length narrative by an ex-slave that reveals the unique brutalities inflicted on enslaved women. As such, it is often cited as the counterpart…show more content…
Rochester, falls in love with her employer, only to discover that he is already married, and that his wife, who is insane, is confined in the attic of his estate. Jane leaves, but is ultimately reunited with Mr. Rochester after the death of his wife. In one of the most famous quotes from the novel, Jane, an orphan who has survived several miserable years at a charity school, proclaims triumphantly, "Reader, I married him." For Linda, as for other black women, marriage as a means of escape from life's brutalities was not an option. Notably — even though she remains hidden in her grandmother's garret for seven years — she does not become "the madwoman in the attic." In fact, she not only maintains her sanity, but also uses her mind to outwit Dr. Flint, beating him at his own game of treachery and deception. Scholars also point to similarities between Incidents and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly (1852), which dramatized the plight of slaves and had such an impact on its readers that it is sometimes cited as one of the causes of the American Civil War. But although Stowe's "Uncle Tom" escaped only by dying, Linda's escape leads to a full life as a free

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