Incidents In Life Of A Slave Girl Analysis

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For decades preceding and following the Civil War, abolitionists fought to raise awareness of the racial discrimination of African Americans and ultimately bring an end to slavery. Abolitionists used a wide variety of tactics to connect with their audience and influence the public’s opinion. Primary literary sources such as, “The Anti-Slavery Harp,” “To My Former Master,” “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” and “The American Anti-Slavery Almanac,” use abuse to summon emotion in their respective audiences. The primary purpose of these literary pieces is to raise awareness of the hardships of slavery and promote emancipation. Abolitionists were able to capture the emotions of their audiences in their fight against slavery by sharing the …show more content…
She describes her master, Dr. Flint, as a crafty man who resorted to many means to accomplish his purposes. But in these means were endless years of verbal abuse left on Jacobs. She writes how her master, “met me at every turn, reminding me that I belonged to him.” Years of this type of verbal abuse causes slaves to lose their own sense of worth and being, which in turn causes them to lose their own will to stand up against their owners. Jacobs mentions Flint calling her “his property,” to reiterate that she is subjected to his commands, and leading her to believe she is not a person worthy of her own existence and being. This type of abuse left Jacobs with psychological and emotional damage as she was nothing more than property to Dr. Flint. Thus, this left her feeling she had no self-worth of her own without belonging to him. Abolitionists would depict these types of abuse slaves had to endure daily in their publications to raise awareness and invoke emotion in the reader. Abolitionists hoped, that by depicting in detail the cruel and inhumane treatment of the slaves, that others would be encouraged to join the movement and help to get slavery …show more content…
William H. Brown, in “The Anti-Slavery Harp,” writes a poem describing the thoughts of a slave. “A yoked and scourged slave, chains dragging to his grave, and raise no hand to save?”
This poem expresses the loss of freedom and the weariness of a slave with no one there to save him. Doing hard physical labor day-after-day, whipped and scared, under the control of another man’s will until the day he or she dies, hoping for one day to be free was the only life a slave knew. Through Brown’s poem, he is depicting the physical and mental deterioration in slave’s life.

In conclusion, abolitionists were able to apprehend the American public by drawing attention to the cruel and inhumane treatment of slaves. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and William W. Brown were able to use their personal experiences to express the heart-wrenching reality behind slave torture. Their writings were read across the world and gained widespread support for the end of slavery. In this, their efforts proved effective and made it difficult for slavery to be ignored. Slaves dealt with malnourishment, whipping, sexual abuse, and horrific working conditions which scared them for life. By sharing the life of a slave, from the perspective of a slave, abolitionists were able to capture the emotions of their audiences in the fight against

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