Harriet Jacobs Motherhood

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs is Jacobs life story under the pseudonym Linda Brent. Jacobs’ main focus or theme in the novel is motherhood and the effects of slavery on the female sex. She directs the novel to a female white middle class audience. She initially wrote the novel under a pseudonym to protect her identity and herself from cruelty because it was published in 1861, also the year the civil war started. She agreed to writing her story to expose the wretched life African American female slaves endured. There are many male perspectives of woman slaves, but they are only an outsiders view. In order to fully understand the barbarities female slaves underwent, Jacobs recreated herself and her story in Incidents…show more content…
When she was six years old her mother passed away and Jacobs discovered the tragic truth; she was a slave. After he mothers death, “she was sent to live in the home of her mother’s mistress, Margaret Horniblow” (“Harriet Jacobs”). As stated by law, slaves are property, therefore distributed as so in the estate unless granted freedom by the owner. When Horniblow passed, Jacobs was sent to her niece, daughter of Dr. James Norcom (“Harriet Jacobs”). Soon after her move to the Norcom’s estate, Dr. Norcom began pursuing her. Along with the constant sexual harassment, Jacobs suffered the wrath of a jealous Mrs. Norcom. After attempting to escape the evils of Dr. Norcom by bearing two children to a white lawyer, Jacobs suffering only worsened due to the fact Dr. Norcom now had leverage over her. With her children’s lives in mind, “the thought that her children would be made plantation slaves and subjected to all of the brutality that implied convinced Jacobs that she had no choice but to escape her enslavement once and for all. In her absence the children would not be sent to the plantation” (“Harriet Jacobs”). In order to do so, Jacobs ran away and moved from hiding place to hiding place until settling in the attic crawlspace of her grandmothers shed for the first seven years of her escapement. Once she made it to the free North, Jacobs was reunited with her beloved children (“Harriet

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