It is not until her mother dies that Linda even begins to understand that she is a slave. At the age of six, she is sent to live in the big house under the extended care of her mother's mistress, who treats her well and teaches her to read. After a few years, this mistress dies and bequeaths Linda to a relative.
She enjoyed a relatively happy family life until she was six years old, when her mother died. Inhe sent her away to a life of hard labor on a plantation he owned, also threatening to break in her young children as field hands.
She was unable to sit or stand, and she eventually became permanently physically disabled. InJacobs escaped to New York and found work as a nanny in the household of a prominent abolitionist writer, Nathaniel Parker Willis.
She was eventually reunited with her children and later joined the antislavery movement. During the s, when Jacobs was writing her book, slavery was a highly explosive issue in the rapidly expanding United States. Americans argued bitterly over whether or not slavery should be allowed in new territories like California, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The Compromise of sought to hold the Union together by designating California a free state, but it also enacted the Fugitive Slave Act, which facilitated the recapture of runaway slaves.
The solution was only temporary, and the divisions that led to the Civil War continued to deepen. Inthe Kansas-Nebraska Act led to bloody confrontations between pro- and anti-slavery settlers in those territories.
In response to these conflicts, the Underground Railroad became more active and abolitionists increased their propaganda efforts, in which slave narratives such as Incidents played a crucial part. Slave narratives were the dominant literary mode in early African-American literature.
Thousands of accounts, some legitimate and some the fictional creations of white abolitionists, were published in the years between and the Civil War.
These were political as well as literary documents, used to promote the antislavery cause and to answer pro-slavery claims that slaves were happy and well-treated.
Most slave narratives feature graphic descriptions of the violent whippings and severe deprivation inflicted on slaves, attempting to appeal to the emotions and conscience of white readers.
Because of its unique point of view, and because of the skilled, novelistic way Jacobs tells her tale, the book has become one of the most celebrated slave narratives of all time. Jacobs knew that her contemporaries would see her not as a virtuous woman but as a fallen one and would be shocked by her relationship with Sawyer and the illegitimate children it produced.
Not until the s, when the critic Jean Fagan Yellin discovered a cache of letters from Harriet Jacobs to Lydia Maria Child, did Jacobs again receive credit for her work.
After writing her book, Jacobs continued to work to help those she had left behind in slavery. During and after the Civil War, she aided black refugees behind Union lines and nursed African-American soldiers.
After the war, she returned to the South and worked for many years to help freed slaves, founding two free schools for blacks and traveling to England to raise money for the freedmen.
Jacobs died in Washington, D.In , Harriet Jacobs published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, an account of her experience of enslavement in Edenton, North Carolina.
Jacobs used the pseudonym Linda Brent and changed all of names in the book to protect the identity and safety of her family. Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Essay Words | 7 Pages. In "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Harriet Jacobs writes, "Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women" (64).
Jacobs' work shows the evils of slavery as being worse in a woman's case by the gender.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography by a young mother and fugitive slave published in by L. Maria Child, who edited the book for its author, Harriet Ann Jacobs. Jacobs used the pseudonym Linda Brent. The book documents Jacobs's life as a slave and how she gained freedom for herself and for her children.
Essay on Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobs's reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage.
In contrast, Jacobs' narrative focuses on "incidents" in her life. Moreover, instead of following a strictly chronological pattern, Jacobs often interrupts her narrative to address social or political issues such as the church and slavery or the impact of the Fugitive Slave Law on runaways.
Harriet A. Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Jacobs’s construction of black female empowerment despite the limitations of slavery Harriet A.
Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography written under the name of Linda Brent. This autobiography is a detailed account of her life or lack thereof.