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Running head: INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 1
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Name
Institutional Affiliation
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INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 2
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Chapter 1
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography by Harriet Jacobs. The
narrative covers issues of sexual oppression of women under slavery institutions along with
chronicles as a mother's vigilant struggle of securing freedom and a home for her sons and
daughters and herself. In this writing, Jacobs used the pseudo name Linda Brent for the first-
person narrator and made changes to the names of others as well. The grip and moving
account of the life Jacob underwent during slavery and the difficulties she persevered in her
attempt to secure freedom is the central theme of the narrative.
The narrator begins the writing by assuring the reader that "this narrative is no fiction"
(xvii). Chapter 1 consists of the author's childhood account. The narrative opens with a
statement of legal status "I was born a slave," and the first paragraph is a narrative of her, and
her family; her description of herself as a ‘merchandise' redeemable on demand as well as
lack of protection for her children by their enslaved parents.
The narrator finishes this paragraph with a bitter irony, as she comments on the denial
of the right of making a legal binding: “The reader probably knows that no promise or writing
given to a slave is legally binding; for according to Southern laws, a salve, being property,
can hold no property (7-8).” The author portrays how she was merely considered property,
and this forms the center of identity in almost all the pages. Throughout the text, the writer
takes the reader through her life experiences along with her struggle for freedom and the role
of family relationship.
Chapter 2
As shown in the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, most of the time, Jacobs spends
her life in North Carolina avoiding the advances of her master. The second chapter "The New
Master and Mistress," is Jacobs's account of how she was transferred to her new home along
with her brother William. In this chapter, the writer continually refers to her grandmother.
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INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 3
She spends many years closed up in the tiny attic crawl space of her grandmother, unable to
stand up straight, sweltering in the summer, cold in the winter.
The writer talks about the new home. She points out her status as a slave in the
family. Meanwhile, she begins to understand her role in the family through observation of
various incidences. For example in page 15, she observes remarks that "the slave could get
nothing to eat except what she chose to give him (15)." Jacobs here begins to learn the harsh
realities of being a slave. As the story unfolds, she begins to see the new roles she has to play
as a slave.
In an incident, she talks about the suffering of a fellow slave, who even though going
through an intense agony "the scornful smile was still on her lips (16)." Before long, the
narrator starts giving an account of the sexual exploitation that Jacobs went through despite
her position in the household. Jacobs describes the effect of her master's action and the angry
and jealous outbreaks from her mistress. Jacob depicts the figure of a bitter and resentful
mistress. Throughout the text, the narrator reveals the conflicted relationship through which
Jacobs involved.
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INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 4
References
Jacobs, H. A. (2018). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. BoDBooks on Demand.

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Running head: INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Name Institutional Affiliation 1 INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 2 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapter 1 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an autobiography by Harriet Jacobs. The narrative covers issues of sexual oppression of women under slavery institutions along with chronicles as a mother's vigilant struggle of securing freedom and a home for her sons and daughters and herself. In this writing, Jacobs used the pseudo name Linda Brent for the firstperson narrator and made changes to the names of others as well. The grip and moving account of the life Jacob underwent during slavery and the difficulties she persevered in her attempt to secure freedom is the central theme of the narrative. The narrator begins the writing by assuring the reader that "this narrative is no fiction" (xvii). Chapter 1 consists of the author's childhood account. The narrative opens with a statement of legal status "I was born a slave," and the first paragraph is a narrative of her, and her family; her description of herself as a ‘merchandise' redeemable on demand as well as lack of protection for her children by their enslaved parents. The narrator finishes this paragraph with a bitter irony, as she comments on the denial of the right of making a legal binding: “The reader probably knows that no promise or writing given to a slave is legally binding; for according to Southern laws, a salve, being property, can hold no property (7-8).” The author portrays how she was merely considered property, and this forms the center of identity in almost all the pages. Throughout the text, the writer takes the reader through her life experiences along with her struggle for freedom and the role of family relationship. Chapter 2 As shown in the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, most of the time, Jacobs spends her life in North Carolina avoiding the advances of her master. The second chapter "The New Master and Mistress," is Jacobs's account of how she was transferred to her new home along with her brother William. In this chapter, the writer continually refers to her grandmother. INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL 3 She spends many years closed up in the tiny attic crawl space of her grandmother, unable to stand up straight, sweltering in the summer, cold in the winter. The writer talks about the new home. She points out her status as a slave in the family. Meanwhile, she begins to understand her role in the family through observation of various incidences. For example in page 15, she observes remarks that "the slave could get nothing to eat except what she chose to give him (15)." Jacobs here begins to learn the harsh realities of being a slave. As the story unfolds, she begins to see the new roles she has to play as a slave. In an incident, she talks about the suffering of a fellow slave, who even though going through an intense agony "the scornful smile was still on her lips (16)." Before long, the narrator starts giving an account of the sexual exploitation that Jacobs went through despite her position in the household. Jacobs describes the effect of her master's action and the angry and jealous outbreaks from her mistress. Jacob depicts the figure of a bitter and resentful mistress. Throughout the text, the narrator reveals the conflicted relationship through which Jacobs involved. INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL References Jacobs, H. A. (2018). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. BoD–Books on Demand. 4 Name: Description: ...
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