The Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Analysis

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“Reader, did you ever hate? I hope not. I never did, but once; and I trust I never shall again. Somebody has called it "the atmosphere of hell"; and I believe it is so.” (Jacobs). These are direct words from Harriet Jacobs's slave narrative, The Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Throughout this narrative Jacobs reveals the harsh realities of slave life, but does so openly and boldly. I’ve found there was a recurring focus throughout the narrative. This focus was not only to show that slavery was awful, but to show how it affected men, children, families, and especially women. Harriet wanted to grab the attention of white Northerners, especially Northern white women. She set out to disclose to Northern whites that slavery was not just …show more content…
While weeping over her newborn child she stated that,“slavery is terrible for men; but is far more terrible for women.”(Jacobs). It wasn’t only men who were humiliated and treated unacceptably, women were susceptible also. These women suffered the brutalities and horrific treatment of slavery. Being used as “breeders”; being forced to have sexual intercourse with slave masters to fulfill their sexual desires or to “produce more slaves.” If children were conceived from this union, they would sometimes be sold to keep the dignity and pride of the of the slave master's’ wife, otherwise the wife would be faced with the harsh reality of seeing evidence of her husband’s lustful nature. And dare not a slave woman speak up about who the father of her child/children are, because of the consequences they would face. For example, a passage in Jacob’s narrative states, “The young wife soon learns that the husband in whose hands, she has placed her happiness pays no regard to his marriage vows. Children of every shade of complexion play with her own fair babies, and too well she knows that they are born unto him of his own household. Jealousy and hatred enter the flowery home, and it is ravaged of its loveliness.” Consequently showing that slavery not only reveals rape to young girls, but it creates jealousy and hatred toward slave women from their master’s mistress.Because of this jealousy and hatred, on some occasion mistresses would even try to undermine slave women and accuse them of false actions which lead to consequences periodically. Furthermore, slavery created a habitat of fear and no woman could stand up against something that

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