Summary Of Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

1751 Words 8 Pages
Slavery in America was full of atrocities and hardships for slaves. Although all slaves were subject to cruel treatment, women in particular were subject to punishment and treatment different than that of male slaves. Whether or not women received worse treatment, they were much more susceptible to sexual abuse. Harriet Jacobs argued that women were worse off than men during slavery. Although Jacobs probably refers to female slaves, it is important to look at both slaves and the women who owned slaves as well. Addressing these two groups can give us a stronger understanding of how different life was for both the enslaved and free populations. I argue that in some ways slavery was worse for women but one cannot judge the entire population as …show more content…
In this book, Jacobs mentions that slavery was worse for women than it was for men. This book itself is a testimony of why she feels that way. Her experiences are filled with sadness and anger brought on by abusive owners, the state of her children, unpopular affairs, constant hiding and a lifetime of trying to get away from the institution of slavery. Her life is unique because not every slave made it to freedom and many died as slaves. It is necessary to look at not just this narrative as evidence for her claim but to also look at the situations that other slaves went through to see what kind of water this argument holds. Both male and female slaves endured whippings, hard labor and poor conditions. Some were better off than others and this is important to understand when one makes the claim that one gender group had a worse experience than the other. I myself do not believe that slavery was worse for women, nor do I believe that it was worse for men. It is impossible to decide either way because of all of the unique situations that occurred during slavery. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is only a piece of what slaves went through, and it must not be used by itself to support Jacob’s argument. But it is essential to understand why she makes this …show more content…
It was not just the whippings and beatings but the harsh working conditions, lack of nutrition and clothing and the constant fear of being sold to worst masters. These were common among women as well but in some cases women worked in the home which pulled them away from the difficult work of the fields (Lecture). Slaves who disobeyed orders were subject to physical punishment which made them fearful of their masters. In some cases, women were not treated as terribly because if they were used to reproduce hurting them would damage the ability for the owner to gain more property. Slaves who worked in the fields endured heat and cold, much more than house

Related Documents