Essay on Harriet Jacobs a True Woman

2418 Words Aug 10th, 2013 10 Pages
The nineteenth century was an age of male dominance as well as slavery; even white women were viewed more as property or a burden to men instead of an equal. In concur with male supremacy the cult of true womanhood was practiced, an ideology which was brought forth in the eighteen century stating four virtues which women should abide by, piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity, in turn they would be grant happiness and power; hardly being the case of either, women were subjected to the control and dependency of their male counterparts. These virtues were taken mostly in attention of the elite white woman, not considering poor white women as well as slaves, who were thought to be less than women; African American women were excluded …show more content…
Jacobs speaks of falling in love with a neighboring carpenter, who was also a free man. A man whom she knew since childhood and through the years they had grown attached to each other and the young man hoped to marry Jacobs. Jacobs admits to loving him and wishing to marry him, “but when I reflected that I was a slave and that the laws gave no sanction to the marriage of such, my heart sank within me”. Her only opportunity at reaching domesticity was shattered by Dr. Flint’s infuriated rejection to allow Jacobs to continue with her romance. Jacobs later has two children out of wedlock, children whom she loved and cared for and as much Jacobs was a wonderful mother to her children, the fact was that they were not hers under the law. Knowing this Jacobs plans for an escape hoping that if she were not found Dr. Flint would then sell her children. The children’s father, a white man, would be on the lookout to buy the children. With this in mind Jacobs begins her plans for an escape from Dr. Flint’s clenches, and pays with seven long years of absence in her children’s lives. Although she hid in her grandmother’s home, able to hear her children’s laughter she was unable to speak to them for fear she may incriminate them. Many would consider her separation from her children to be against domesticity, and it may have been so, but how could a woman accept to be at the

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