What Is The Tone Of Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

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The institution of slavery promoted uprisings as natives sought to defend their homes from continued foreign influence. Unfortunately, not all attempts against colonizers were fruitful and some societies were held captive in their own lands. In the United States, African Americans were ferried from their ancestral homes in large homes and taken to different states where they worked mainly on plantations. The experiences shaped the lives of those held captive as they were forced to adapt to the ways of their masters. This meant that they had to forget about their traditions and customs and had to replace them with the ways of the white people. To Harriet Jacobs, the author of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” slavery limited her …show more content…
The thought of not having the power or freedom to govern one’s life tormented Jacobs, which explains why she has such an emotional reaction towards slavery. One can detect a sad and gloomy tone associated with her statement especially in the beginning where she tells her audience that they have no idea what it meant to be a slave. Focusing on that alone, a reader is able to guess that whatever will follow is going to be something unpleasant or negative. To Jacobs, slavery was like a curse or a wound that was too sore to heal. However, one can notice a different mood when it comes to Wheatley’s poem. She declares, “Taught my benighted soul to understand/That there 's a God, that there 's a Saviour too” (Wheatley 602). This statement references her capture and journey from Africa to America. She means that the pagan life she lived before in Africa made her ignorant and oblivious of the existence of something greater than what she knew, Christianity. This explains why she acknowledges God by calling him her savior. Wheatley was not aware of God in her traditional African culture. However, after she is introduced to Christianity, she somewhat understands the faults in her traditional African religious system. She compares both …show more content…
Arguably, if one reads the story of Jacobs alone, they are likely to develop a subjective attitude towards slavery. However, Wheatley brings about a different and not so common view of slavery. A look at how the two authors talk about their experiences is evidence enough to show that slavery can be both good and bad. There is a lot of pain and anger in Jacobs’s view of slavery as she expresses the desire for African Americans to be free. They were oppressed at the mercy of their masters, who regarded them as property and not human beings. However, it appears that Wheatley was shown a different kind of mercy, one that is characteristic of fair and pleasant treatment. Her conversion to Christianity can be considered as the main channel through which she identified the importance of slavery. This is regardless to the fact that she was subjected to harsh treatment during her kidnapping which was customary, at the time, of the whites with their domineering attitude and suppression against blacks. Thus far, one can notice the differentiated views towards slavery basing on the experiences of both authors, who had personal experiences with

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