Harriet Jacobs Essays

1179 Words Oct 18th, 2010 5 Pages
Although all the slave narratives are similar in some respects; Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was comparatively different from Olaudah Equiano’s and Venture Smith’s slave narratives. The major contrasts start in the beginning; Jacobs’ was born into slavery, whereas Equiano and Smith were native Africans who were captured and brought to America. By being born into slavery I believe that she had a different mentality of what being a slave was, unlike the other two authors who had to learn the language and had to adapt to a completely different environment. Although all of them had different life experiences, I believe that what makes Jacobs’ story stand out is that is was told from the perspective of a woman. …show more content…
Flint selling Jacobs’ grandmother after she was supposed to be set free, and by constantly terrorizing Harriet.
When Dr. Flint told Jacobs’ that he was going to build her a house a few miles outside of town, it seemed as though her greatest fear was going to become real. And although she was a slave, she was determined not to give in to her masters’ demands. “…ye happy women, whose purity has been sheltered from childhood, who have been free to choose the objects of your affection, whose homes are protected by the law, do not judge the poor desolate slave girl too severely! If slavery had been abolished, I, also, could have married the man of my choice; I could have had a home shielded by the laws; and I should have been spared the painful task of confessing what I am about to relate; but all my prospects have been blighted by slavery.” (Gates Jr., McKay pg 290) In a small way she took her life into her own hands and relinquished her virginity on her own free will to Mr. Sands. I believe that a lot of slave girls would rather lose their virginity in that way then by their masters raping them, but to even have to be in the position of having to choose one situation or the other at the tender age of 15 shows how sordid slavery was.
Another difference between Jacobs’ story and the other narratives was how they obtained their freedom. While Equiano and Smith eventually bought their freedom, Jacobs’ journey to

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