Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Incidnets In The Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs Essay

Incidnets In The Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs - Essay Example Due to the efforts of Jacobs’ autobiographer Yellin and the discovery of Jacobs’ letters with many abolitionists, the authenticity was established. Harriet Jacobs was not a proficient writer indeed. However, she had a story to tell and she worked at developing writing skills. In already 1858 she finished the manuscript of the book which was further proofread by L. Maria Child and published. The first sentence of the narrative makes us aware that the story is autobiographic. The personal story of the author served the basis of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The Jacobs’s autobiographer Yellin confirmed that events of the Incidents by Linda Brent coincided with the key events of Jacobs’ life - the suggestion earlier voiced by Amy Post. The facts of life of the main character and the author are identical and one can easily track them. The similarities of Linda’s early childhood in the Incidents and Harriet Jacobs’s childhood are the death of the mother which makes her aware of the slave status, then the death of the mistress who cared for her, her purchase by the mistress’ sister for five-year-old daughter, the death of the father, etc. Later when Linda Brent’s mistress was married to Dr. Flint (Dr. James Norcom in real life), Linda was haunted by him. She desperately tried to escape Dr. Flint and entered intimate relations with Samuel Tredwell Sawyer (Mr. Sands in the narrative) and bore two children for him - Joseph and Louisa Matilda (Ben and Ellen in the narrative). The other vivid biographic feature depicted in the story is 7 years ‘imprisonment’ of Linda in her grandmother’s attic to avoid abuse of Dr. Flint. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is fundamental work which changed the traditional view about the slave narrative which had been primarily written by male authors. This shift allowed emphasizing issues of family, womanhood and sexuality in a different light. The standards of womanhood which

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