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Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs

1983 Words8 Pages

In the book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs recounts her years as a woman in slavery. Jacobs portrays the abuse many young and old woman received from their masters. Whether it would be sexual abuse or physical abuse. For Jacobs she was harassed and abused by her master for most of her young life. There were instances in the book where she stated how and when her master struck her. Being a women slave can be seen as even more difficult then that of a mans life in slavery. The women faced a lot more emotional issues. Like the selling of her children. Which was a devastating thing to many mothers during the era of slavery. Giving birth then nourishing and raising and healthy child only to have them stripped from their hands …show more content…

In charge of cooking, cleaning, and raising the masters children. The house was a horrific place for African American woman. Behind closed doors there was often physical and sexual abuse that these women went through. In the book Jacobs witnessed saw and went through these abuses. She states “I was compelled to live under the same roof with him- where I saw a man forty years my senior daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature. He told me I was his property” (Jacobs 24). Jacobs was harassed and abused by her master for many years. And more than once she was struck by the doctor for stating the truth. Her master started to grow a liking to the young slave. This Jacobs knew would end very badly for her and her future family. She states “My master began to whisper foul words in my ear. Young as I was, I could not remain ignorant of their import. I tried to treat them with indifference or contempt. The masters age, my extreme youth…” (Jacobs 24). Jacobs is a prime example of the sexual abuse that most African women slaves went through with their masters. She was unable to push the doctor away. Men were able to work outside away from most whites for a time. Mostly women were in constant contact with whites. A deadly environment for these poor …show more content…

If you are unable to love someone or something you have a feeling of loneliness and depression. Unfortunately, this was the feelings of many women trapped in slavery. Even for Harriet Jacobs young life she was unable to see the father of her children for much of the time while she was stuck on the plantation. Marriage at the time for slaves was against the law. For Jacobs she knew her, and the father of her children could not be married. She states “He proposed to marry me. I loved him with all the ardor of a young girls first love. But when I reflected that I was a slave, and that the laws gave no sanction to the marriage of such, my heart sank within me” (Jacobs 31). Her lover attempted to buy her, but the doctor refused. Love was something that was hard to come by when you were a slave. There wasn’t too much to be happy about let alone love. For women whose children were stripped from her and without her lover times were

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