Free Custom «Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl» Essay Paper

Free Custom «Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl» Essay Paper

1. Harriet Jacobs’ book called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiographical story revealing the truth about terrible and heavy slaves’ life. Linda Brent, the main character of the book, describes her difficult lifeway as a slave, and demonstrates the Whites’ inhuman attitude towards their own people in the American South. Linda was a pretty mulatto born in slavery. She had a quiet and normal life until her mistress died. At the age of 12, Harriet became the property of her mistress sister’s daughter. Constant sexual harassment of her new master brought many problems and troubles in the girl’s life. Harriet felt the reluctance to obey because of the birth of two illegitimate children, even though Mr. Flint was not their father. Finally, she managed to move to Philadelphia in the North, and at the age of 27 years, she became a free woman.

2. Harriet had a friendly and loving family. Her father was a carpenter and worked hard for Harriet and her brother William’s redemption from slavery. William was two years younger than a girl, priding of an affectionate and bright boy. In her book, Jacobs said, “I had a great treasure in my maternal grandmother, who was a remarkable woman in many respects” (Jacobs n.p.). Grandmother cared about Jacobs all her life and helped in difficult situations. She also had Uncle Benjamin, who appeared to be more like her brother due to a little age difference. In addition, Harriet’s family included Aunt Nancy and Uncle Phillip, who helped the girl as well. Later, Harriet gave birth to her children, Ellen and Benjamin, and the family became bigger. She had many slave friends; in particular, the girl named Fanny who traveled with Jacobs to Philadelphia was one of them. However, her grandmother was the most important person in Harriet’s life because the old woman substituted Harriet’s mother who died. Jacobs was six years old when this happened, and it was one of the most dramatic changes in their life.

3. At the age of 12, Harriet’s mistress died and the girl became a property of the Flint family, namely, their little daughter, since Dr. Flint was the husband of her Mistress’s sister. Since then, accommodation in their house became terrible because of Mr. Flint’s sexual harassments, which Harriet always refused and tried to avoid. Later, the master started to build a separate house for the girl, but she sinned and became pregnant to spite him. In her turn, Mrs. Flint was jealous of her husband and, therefore, did not like the girl. Evidently, it was a difficult lifeway, and Harriet often said that male slaves’ fate was hard, but female’s was even worse. The latter often had the forced intimate relationships with their masters, gave birth to the children sold to other Whites.

4. Harriet hated Dr. Flint so much that she decided to have relations with Mr. Sands. One day, the master offered her a separate building, but she said,” I will never go there. In a few months I shall be a mother” (Jacobs n.p.). Mr. Flint raged and repeatedly beat her, and when her children’s father wanted to buy her and the babies, Mr. Flint refused. At last, the girl decided to escape to the North since Mr. Flint did not want to sell her. Harriet and her friends organized the escape; however, she was forced to spend much time in terrible conditions: she was not able to move, walk, and even sit, but she hoped to become free one day. When Mrs. Bruce, her friend in Philadelphia, bought her and Harriet became the free woman, she wrote,” I felt as if a heavy load had been lifted from my weary shoulders” (Jacobs n.p.).

5. Nat Turner was a leader of the slave rebellion suppressed later. Slave owners and solders staged a real hunt on colored people; the Whites tortured them and returned to their owners afterwards. Many houses were set on fire; the noise of weeping and despair cries was on the streets. Harriet was worried about her family. She wrote about the Whites, “I knew nothing annoyed them so much as to see colored people living in comfort and respectability” (Jacobs n.p.). The girl lived with her grandmother, and the group of soldiers once came to their door, but luckily enough, they did not damage anything.

6. It is rather difficult to outline the most troubling aspects of being a slave because the condition of a person being a property of another one is generally unacceptable. However, slaveholders’ mockery by their slaves causes their Christian morals disappointment; one kind of punishment replaced the other one. The fate of female slaves was the most horrible. Masters raped these women and sold their children separating them from mothers forever. Babies could die without food, any slave could be killed, and no one was willing to take the responsibility for his death.

7. The book by Harriet Jacobs had a great impact on me. It demonstrates numerous facts about a heavy and unjust life of colored people in the American South. I like this young woman, and respect her willpower and desire to be free. I would like to recommend this book to any person for two reasons. First, modern people should remember the human history of slavery and citizens’ equality. Second, every person should appreciate their freedom and must be able to protect the rights. Each individual lives in an independent and democratic country, and has equal rights and freedoms regardless of skin color.



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