Harriet Jacols Literary Analysis

1394 Words6 Pages
Mallory Bruns
Prof. Wall
English 2327-001
21 November 2014
The Fight for Freedom
Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery. While her youth contained “six years of happy childhood,” a few tragedies and mistresses later, Jacobs spent many years in pain under the possession of her cruel five-year-old mistress, Emily Flint, and her father, Dr. Flint. Once able to obtain freedom, Jacobs spent most of her life working for the Anti-Slavery office in New York, in hope that one day she could make a difference in the world. “She sought to win the respect and admiration of her readers for the courage with which she forestalled abuse and for the independence with which she chose a lover rather than having one forced on her” (Jacobs 921). Linda Brett, the name in which Jacobs uses to narrate her life story, endures the harsh behavior women slaves were treated with in the south in the nineteenth century. The dominant theme of the corruptive power and psychological abuse of slavery, along with symbolism of good and evil, is demonstrated throughout her narrative to create a story that has revealed to the world the terrible lives woman slaves suffered.
Slavery back then (in general): “You have got to be able to love yourself-
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In “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” Brett talks highly of her parents: “and, though we were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded of them at any moment” (Jacobs 922). Linda’s childhood as a slave was different than most. Her father was a “skilled carpenter” (Jacobs 921) and was “allowed to work at his trade, and manage his own affairs.” Harriet Jacobs uses this in key information in the first paragraph of her narrative to reveal her status as a slave and let the reader know the content of a childhood Jacobs believed she
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