Slavery In The South By Harriet Jacobs

1421 Words 6 Pages
Harriet Jacobs pleads the end of slavery to the northern people through their idea of an ideal family structure. Northerners have a unique idea about relationships, which they share with their English counterparts in that women have a choice about their suitors. This relation between a woman and man results in a proper marriage, allowing separate spheres to exist in which women have a place where children grow up to be respectable citizens. Jacob tries to instill anger in the North by showing black people are more inclined to be like a northerner than any other person in the South but was limited by slavery. The institution of slavery allows a lecherous master to dictate whom a slave may marry, which ruins the institution of marriage. The way …show more content…
Jacobs describes a sad event of a mother crying for her children in a Methodist class. The mother is crying, and Jacob says the reason for her weeping is, “They got all my children. Last week they took the last one… They let me have her sixteen years…” (Jacobs, 61) Although no mother of the North ever face the anguish of losing a child, Jacobs tries to use this event to show how base slavery is toward its society. The very idea of motherhood as northerners understand of caring for a child and making them citizens becomes an impossibility when a mother can expect her children to be sold at any time. The Mother shows this anguish in her response, in which she says, “I got nothing to live for now. God make my time short”, (Jacobs, 61). Jacobs shows through the experience of this crying mother the shared fate that all slave mothers must face. Slavery takes away those that matter to any mother and leaves them miserable. Although through her experience, she resists and pursues the chance to free herself and her children, many more female slaves faced an injustice that they alone cannot fix.
The main way in which Harriet Jacobs tries to appeal to northern society to act is showing the corruption slavery has on the family structure both for the slave and white families. Families are the most fundamental unit of society, and Jacobs uses the various corruption of families in the South to show how fundamentally wrong slavery is for the South. With an institution like slavery, it would be perpetuated for generations unless someone intervenes. The idea of war therefore was influenced by Jacobs trying to convince North that the South is wrong about

Related Documents