A literary analysis of incidents in the life of a slave girl

It is not until her mother dies that Linda even begins to understand that she is a slave.

A literary analysis of incidents in the life of a slave girl

I do it to kindle a flame of compassion in your hearts for my sisters who are still in bondage. First published inIncidents was "discovered" in the s and reprinted in and Since then, several editions of Incidents have been published.

A literary analysis of incidents in the life of a slave girl

The second edition is scheduled for release in April Scholars who dismissed the work as a fictional slave narrative often pointed out issues such as the following. Unlike conventional slave narratives, Incidents does not acknowledge Harriet Jacobs as its author. Instead, the narrative was published under the pseudonym "Linda Brent.

The primary goal of slave narratives was to arouse sympathy among whites and gain their support for the anti-slavery movement led by abolitionists. Because the publication of Incidents coincided with the beginning of the Civil War, it was seen as being published too late to have any social or political impact.

The majority of slave narratives were written by men who documented their daring escapes and heroic actions, many of whom — such as Frederick Douglass — went on to become spokespersons or political leaders.

Moreover, instead of following a strictly chronological pattern, Jacobs often interrupts her narrative to address social or political issues such as the church and slavery or the impact of the Fugitive Slave Law on runaways.

Consequently, her narrative did not fit the pattern of the "authentic" male narrative. For contemporary readers, skepticism generally revolves around the use of language.

They also note that Dr. Flint is sometimes depicted more like a suitor or persistent lover determined to win the hand of his "lady," rather than as a slave owner determined to hold on to his "property. Sands, another white man, a decision that she sees as the lesser of two evils.

So readers may conclude that she contributes to her own bondage. Thus, although she uses her sexuality to try to escape her fate, she is ultimately trapped by it. In this novel, Jane, the governess to a ward of the mysterious Mr.

Rochester, falls in love with her employer, only to discover that he is already married, and that his wife, who is insane, is confined in the attic of his estate. Jane leaves, but is ultimately reunited with Mr.

Rochester after the death of his wife. In one of the most famous quotes from the novel, Jane, an orphan who has survived several miserable years at a charity school, proclaims triumphantly, "Reader, I married him. Flint, beating him at his own game of treachery and deception.

Although Jacobs used the style of the 19th century romance in writing her narrative, presumably because it was the only model available to her, the content of her narrative focuses on her own experiences, and not — as was once believed — on the experiences of a fictional protagonist.

Key Themes Key themes in Incidents include the economics of slavery see the Critical Essay "The Feminist Perspective" ; the quest for freedom; pain and suffering physical and emotional ; self-definition; self-assertion; community support and family loyalty generally lacking in slave narratives by men ; and writing as a means of freedom, self-expression, and resistance.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Wikipedia

Also significant is the issue of literacy, which was often used as a metaphor for freedom, because slaves who learned to read and write were often the ones who ran away. Other themes include the moral conflict between slavery and Christianity, color prejudice and racism, the bond of motherhood, family loyalty, and abandonment.

Consequently, the structure deviates from that of the traditional slave narrative: The work also offers a new perspective on historical events such as the Nat Turner insurrection. Incidents is unique in that it addresses a specific audience — white women in the North — and speaks for black women still held in bondage.Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl study guide contains a biography of Harriet Jacobs, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and anal.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a great resource to ask .

A literary analysis of incidents in the life of a slave girl

Get ready to write your paper on Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more. How to . Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was long believed to be a fictional account of slavery.

Through extensive research, however, scholars have documented its authenticity as an autobiography by. Although generally ignored by critics, who often dismissed Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself as a fictionalized account of slavery, the work is heralded today as the first book-length narrative by an ex-slave that reveals the unique brutalities inflicted on enslaved women.

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Wikipedia