Essay On Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl

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Harriet Jacobs uses the character of Mr. Sands in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to show that the institution of slavery corrupts the trust between slaves and freed whites. The power that Mr. Sands possess due to his standing as a slaveholder prevents Linda from trusting him completely despite his good nature and his relation to her children. Despite Mr. Sands being the father of her children, Linda does not trust him to provide her children with freedom, even after he pays a large sum to Dr. Flint to purchase them while proclaiming his intents for their emancipation. Jacobs includes this distrust to emphasize how a white father, no matter how good-natured he may be, in a slave society will always rank their illegitimate black children…show more content…
Sands’ relationship to show how slaves and whites often use each other without love in mind. Despite Linda bearing two children by Mr. Sands and finding him to be an agreeable man, she never expresses love for him, but rather presents their relationship in merely a transactional way without any emotions attached. In fact, when Linda whispers to Mr. Sands from the window in an attempt to secure emancipation for her own children, she believes that his lack of response is due to his unfeeling nature toward her. When Mr. Sands does not verbally respond to Linda, she wonders whether, “he had so little feeling for [their children’s] wretched mother that he would not listen a moment while she pleaded with him” (104). Despite the true reason for Mr. Sands lack of response owing to his inability to hear Linda, Jacobs uses this opportunity to make known the lack of faith Linda has in Mr. Sands emotional attachment to her. For Linda, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that her former lover possessed no fond feelings for her whatsoever because she and Mr. Sands never built their relationship out of love. Jacobs uses this relationship to show that a true loving relationship cannot come from a slaveholding white man and a black slave because distrust and use are the pillars of the relationship rather than
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