Analysis Of Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Sarah Way Sherman

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Sarah Way Sherman begins her article, “Moral Experience in Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” with a quote by Harriet Jacobs about the idea that slavery was worse for woman compared to men. Sherman compares Jacobs’s novel to Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Written by Himself, making the point that Jacobs’s novel may be seen as weaker by others, because it focuses on the sexual exploitation of enslaved woman, but proves that Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a strong representation of what really happened and a novel that can make a difference. The analysis mentions the idea of women being beaten and used for sexual purposes throughout the entire writing. She starts with how Linda …show more content…
The main topic behind the article talks about the way the women had to be submissive to their owners in multiple ways, by following orders and being sexually compliant. Linda struggled with being submissive because she felt that it was wrong to take part in sexual activities with her master. The article continues to summarize the novel, talking about her quest for freedom and the challenges that Linda faced. The article ends with the ending with the freedom of Linda Brent and her children, Ella and Benjamin. After reading Sarah Way Sherman’s article I have come to the conclusion that I agree with the arguments presented by Sherman. Linda did not have the choice of being in “true womanhood,” but did everything she could to survive (Sherman 7). Brent also loved her child so much that she risked her life and other’s life just to be …show more content…
Linda exclaims, “I was about to risk everything on the throw of a die; and if I failed, to what would become of me and my poor children? They would be made to suffer for my fault” (Jacobs 146). Even though Linda wishes that her children would die instead of being enslaved, she desires the sight of them being free even more. During the times that Linda thought about giving up and revealing herself to her master, she stayed strong in her fight and continued to hide. Linda also wished that she was dead but when she saw her children, her strength was renewed. Sherman’s argument about Linda’s fight for freedom was correct and her inclusion of Linda’s children proved the point to be true all the more. Sherman makes several arguments about women in slavery throughout her article. I agree with them and believe that the two most important ideas to come out of the article were Linda’s motivation during her escape from slavery and her decision of having sex out of wedlock proving to lead to her freedom. Sherman’s arguments behind these ideas was strong and backed up by the novel

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