Essay: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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Essay: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Sample Essay

Slavery has been a mode of living in historical past in that it was considered as a trade. The people who were involved in the business as slaves had no rights at all and no power to resist what the bosses commanded. They had to experience all forms of mistreatments including sexual harassment and exploitation, hard work and degradation among others. Antebellum South was no exception since slavery there was a total form of domination that the enslaved were rendered powerless to resist their master’s will in any meaningful way. They had to do whatever the enslaver instructed irrespective of how hard and degrading it was.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs was written in the year 1861 giving the life encounters the slaves had to endure in the hands of the masters. She uses her narrator, Linda Brent and through her she is able to show the harsh punishments the male slaves faced. She indeed says that they were “receiving the treatment of a dog” (Jacobs 75). However, she argues that the life tortures young girls experienced were the worst as she says, “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, and sufferings, and mortifications peculiarly their own” (119). Just as Brent opens her book with the statement, “I was born and reared in slavery” (5) rather than giving the dates of birth was the norm in any form of slavery life irrespective of the location. While each person has to know his or her date of birth, most of the orphans did not enjoy this opportunity.

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