Comparing Vampires In Beloved And Harriet Jacob's Incidents

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Vampires have been seen throughout history as bloodsucking, evil monsters who come out at night to prey upon the innocent by piercing their flesh with their fangs. While this is true, there are more than just this type of literal vampires in literature. In Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, he describes vampires as any older figure that represents corrupt values who violates young women and leaves them helpless followers in his sin. Although characters in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl did not suck anyone’s blood or run away at a glimpse of sunlight, they are still vampires. Slave owners in these novels are vampires as they exploit young women and strip them of their…show more content…
In Jacob’s novel, Dr. Flint, the protagonist’s master, constantly sexually exploits Linda Brent throughout their time together. There are numerous occasions in which Dr. Flint offers Linda safety, protection, and housing in exchange for sexual favors. At one point in the novel, he intends to build Linda a house four miles away from town where she can live as his sex slave. In response to his proposition, Linda thinks, “I’d have rather live and die in jail, than drag on, from day to day, through such a living death” (Jacobs 38). Constant exploitation of slaves is also seen through Schoolteacher, the slave owner in Morrison’s Beloved. Although it is not sexual exploitation, Schoolteacher constantly exploits Sethe, the novel’s protagonist, through her work. He takes his mistreatment of Sethe to the extreme when he takes measurements of her and studies her biology to configure the extent of which she can work. While Schoolteacher is not sexually exploiting Sethe as Dr. Flint does to Linda, he is severely oppressing Sethe by treating her as though she is an animal and pushing her to the extreme limits in work just to better his plantation. In both cases, the men have no concern for the well-being of the women and completely misuse and objectify them for their own personal gain. This is the reason why the authors portray these men as vampires. By giving them vampire like characteristics, the

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