The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacob Essay example

1871 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 8 Pages
In Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the garret atop her grandmother’s house, in which Linda chooses to spend seven years of her life, symbolizes both the evils of slavery and the blessings of freedom. The garret, otherwise known as the loophole of retreat, measuring 9 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 3 feet sloping, fails to afford Linda with material comfort, consequently, deteriorating her physical and mental health. Lacking ventilation and light, the loophole’s narrow restraint alludes to the calamity of slavery, just as the Flints physically incarcerate Linda to domestic servitude prior to her escape. The absence of light represents the Flint’s depriving Linda, and all slaves, access to their children and self-awareness. However, through the act of choosing her retreat through a self-sought sanctuary, Linda equips herself with the tools to claim her agency by way of writing letters to her captor and manufacturing a “peephole” to view the world she wishes to see—her children, her matriarchal protectors, and ultimately her road to freedom. The lack of ventilation in the garret smothering Linda exemplifies the constant vigilance that the Flints impose on her while she resides at the plantation. Linda’s want of air epitomizes Mr. and Mrs. Flint’s unrelenting surveillance over her, and their denial of Linda’s personal domain. On the plantation Dr. Flint stalks Linda as he “meets [her] at every turn, reminding [her] that [she] belongs to [him]… If [she…

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