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. First published in , Incidents was "discovered" in the s and reprinted in and Since then, several editions of Incidents have been published. The second edition is scheduled for release in April In addition to her efforts to establish the authenticity of Jacobs' narrative, Yellin also brought Incidents to the attention of readers, scholars, and critics who had long ignored or dismissed the work because it failed to meet the standards of the male slave narrative, as defined by male critics such as Robert Stepto and James Olney.
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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Critical Thinking And Critical Writing Essay
Kaitlin has a BA in political science and extensive experience working in the business world as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a financial advice firm. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Some of the most popular books and movies today, like Divergent and The Hunger Games , focus on girls that must outsmart authority to save their lives and the lives of their family and friends. There may not be futuristic societies and awesome fight scenes in Harriet Jacobs' autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl but the story of a woman who overcomes the odds to save her family is similar. Under the pseudonym Linda Brent , Jacobs details her life as a woman enslaved at the height of the abolitionist movement. The book begins with Linda describing her happy early childhood with her brother and parents. She was made to feel like a person, rather than a piece of property. After her mother died, Linda was sent to live with her mother's mistress, who treated her kindly and took care of her. Shortly afterwards, her mistress also died, and left Linda to her niece, who was still a child as well.
While many of the slaves around Jacobs are good people of strong character, their owners and the legal system refuse to recognize these…. In her narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl , Harriet Jacobs uses the pseudonym Linda Brent to describe her own upbringing as a slave within a white household. In doing so, she focuses on the vulnerability and moral predicament of black women who are powerless against the sexual abuses of white men. Linda wants to fulfill contemporary norms of feminine chastity and respectability; moreover, she wants to present herself as a…. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl , Harriet Jacobs argues for abolition by detailing the impact of slavery on families in the Southern community where her alter-ego, Linda Brent , grows up. Slavery deprives black mothers of their legitimate rights over their children, who may be sold away or otherwise harmed at any moment; it also creates discord and moral decline among white families whose patriarchs are likely to father children by…. The narrative often meditates on the existence of slavery within a society that purports to fulfill Christian principles.