The analysis of book by Harriet Jacobs “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Slavery has been the wicked phenomena in the world. Slavery is very unnatural and aggravates mixed outlooks from the perspective of every person. Some of the people still face slavery in the present times. Other people do not necessarily understand that a person can treat another individual as a slave. In definition, slavery is one of the first forms of exploitation, where the slave becomes the property of a slave owner. The book by Harriet Jacobs (2009), “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” provides the description of slavery in America. The author of the book is the narrator herself in the book and she describes the life as a slave. In the autobiography, she recounts the experiences before she was fled from the slavery and she portrayed the sexual history while she was a slave. Slavery in America was a legal institution of the human chattel enslavement, majorly the African Americans and the Africans who lived in the country in the 18th and 19th centuries after the independence of the nation and before the American civil war ended. Slavery was practiced in America from the colonial era and it was legal at the period of the declaration of independence in the year 1776.

Realization of the slavery

During Harriet early life, she did not realize that she was a slave and she lived with her father and mother in a relatively secure and comfortable life. They lived together with her extended family. This was not common for a number of reasons the first being that Harriet came from the family which was unclear and she was never treated poorly when she was a child. “They lived together in a comfortable home; 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.” Harriet Jacobs, p. 7. Even though her parents passed away when she was young, the grandmother was the central figure in her life and she was able to provide her with security, comfort, unrelenting love and moral guidance. When Harriet realized that she was a slave she was startled and when she learned that she was never going to reverse this information and she stuck in the psychological trauma of having the knowledge that she was just a piece of property.

Justification of slavery

One of the methods which the slaveholders were justifying the slavery was through the enforcing of the claim that the slaves were not actually human beings. They were barbarous, inferior and savage is all kinds of ways. The slave who thought that he poses the values of tried to inoculate similar values in the other slaves was seen dangerous and most oppressed. The father of Harriet tried to teach his kids that they had their worth but this was against the desire of the slaveholder to be able to keep the slaves dumb and docile. Benjamin the uncle to Harriet also proclaimed his self-rule and by refusing to obey the master he was punished severely.

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