Incidnts in th Lif of a Slav Girl is a narrativ that dscribs a young girls trials and tribulations whil bing an involuntary mmbr of th institution of slavry. Jacobs, lik vry othr victim of th atrocity known as slavry, wishs that popl in th north would do mor to put a stop to this harmful practic. Slavry is an undrstood dishonor of th past. This is tru, not only bcaus of th injustics don to th slavs, but for th ngativ ffcts that th slav holdrs and thir wivs undrwnt. Whn thr ar basic rights of frdom bing dnid in a socity, no thical principls can b uphld. Th fact that this sinful tratmnt of othr human bings was prmittd had a morally crippling ffct not only on th principl victim, th slav, but on th ntir houshold in which th slav rsidd. Slavry corruptd th morals of vryon within its rach.
First and foremost, we must recognize that the primary and most directly affected victim due to slavery, is of course, the slave. Ranging from lashings, emotional struggles, and even death, slaves have felt the truest and most severe form of slavery. They are not allowed to own property because according to Southern laws, a slave, being property, can hold no property(6).
Harriet Jacobs describes many of her misfortunes and happenings while under the thumb and close watch of Dr. Flint. She was degraded and insulted many times throughout her stay with him. For example, Jacobs recalls When he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in every thing; that I was nothing but a slave, whose will must and should surrender to his, never before had my puny arm felt half so strong(18).
In the Gettysburg address, Lincoln quotes the declaration of independence in saying that the United States government was a creation by and for the people who inhabited these shores. In the context of the civil war, this is important because the collapse of the union signified the end of popular sovereignty, even though that particular expression had just been coined. In Russel B. Nyes essay, the ...
This was only the beginning however, and pretty soon thereafter sexual advances were made by Dr. Flint in which he peopled my young mind with unclean images, such as only a vile monster could think of(27).
Linda (who in reality is author Harriet Jacobs) could find little protection being a slave because ….no matter whether the slave girl be as black as ebony or as fair as her mistress. In either case, there is no shadow of law to protect her from insult, from violences, or even from death; all these are inflicted by fiends who bear the shape of men(27).
Harriet Jacobs also asks her readers to reflect on the existence of a double standard in considering her actions under slavery. After admitting to having sacrificed her purity for the sake of escaping Dr. Flints advance, she asks for understanding: “the condition of a slave confuses all principles of morality, and in fact renders the practice of them impossible” (55).
Jacobs lives in a society that refuses to protect her with laws or customs, and she should therefore be judged with different precepts in mind.
If one cannot legally own their body, how can they be responsible for its actions? On an indirect level, there are other parties that suffer the consequences of slavery. The slave holders for example; slaverys strong power puts them in a situation where they are entirely in control of another human life. This can only ultimately lead to the downfall of their moral character, for they believe that these slaves are born to serve them in whatever way they see fit. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Dr. Flint was the perfect example. His control over Linda fuels his immoral practices and to the young slave girl she saw him a man forty years my senior daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature. He told me I was his property; that I must subject to his will in all things(27) The jealous wives of these slave holders also suffer from this abominable organization, slavery. It ruins the relationship between husband and wife, filling it with an uncertainty of fidelity and emotions raging from utter despair to utter rage; and most of the rage is directed to the un-wanting party; the slave.
Harriet Ross Tubman was an African American who escaped from slavery and then guided runaway slaves to freedom in the North for more than a decade before the American Civil War. During the war she served as a scout, spy, and nurse for the United States Army. In later years she continued to work for the rights of blacks and women. Harriet Tubman, a great African American woman, escaped from slavery ...
The Flints relationship suffered when …Angry words were frequently passed between her and her husband. He had never punished me himself, and he would not allow any body else to punish me. In that respect, she was never satisfied; but in her angry moods, no terms were too vile for her to bestow upon me(32).
When Linda expressed her situation in which Dr. Flint was making sexual advances towards her, Mrs. Flint, instead of seeing her husband as a disgusting pervert took her anger out on Linda; I was the object of her jealousy, and, consequently, of her hatred; and I knew I could not expect kindness or confidence from her under the circumstances in which I was placed(34).
Ironically, the Flints as well as other slave holders in their situation, were actually victims of their own situation.
They were the ones who so adamantly refused to give up their precious slave, the one that had caused them both so much grief, hatred, and tore apart what could have been a safe and happy marriage. I can testify, from my own experiences and observation, that slavery is a curse to the whites as well as to the blacks. It makes the white fathers cruel and sensual; the sons violent and licentious; it contaminates the daughters, makes the wives wretched. And as for the colored race, it needs an abler pen than mine to describe the extremity of their sufferings, the depth of their degradation(52).
Apparently, slavery not only obscures the morality of the slaves, but also those of the master who holds no respect for a woman’s privacy. Here in this one house, there is a mature, adult male harassing a young woman he considers property and privilege.
Then, a mistress filled with jealousy and rage and acting on these emotions. And finally a young slave burdened by race and gender, anxious to throw away her virginity for the sake or not having it stolen. All of the above conditions could arise together only under the institution of slavery. As Jacobs writes, “the degradation, the wrongs, the vices, that grow out of slavery, are more than I can describe. They are greater than you would willingly believe” (28).
Analyze the philosophical and economic reasons for the growth of slavery in the United States. Slavery has been of signal importance in American history. During the Antebellum Period, it undergirded the nation's economy, increasingly dominated its politics, and finally led to the Civil War between the north and south. After war, the legacy of slavery continued to shape much of American history, ...
The incidents is definitely a production of a white woman writer. Jobs rsnts th dilmm fd by ll nslvd womn: th onflit btwn virtuous, womnly idls nd sxul xloittion by whit mstrs. In srhing for rsolution to this onflit, Jobs dmonstrts th owr of rsonl gny in thought, sh, nd tion.
Sh suggsts tht slv womn b judgd by diffrnt stndrds thn thos lid to othr womn, nd in doing so dvlos morl od tht ddrsss th sifi soil nd historil osition of tiv, blk womn. Yt, Jobs’ work gos byond this: hr ingnuity, strngth of will, nd owrs of sh wr stndrds of womnly bhvior bing nwly dvlod by th mrging fminist movmnt. Jobs’ work first found its l in history s “slv nrrtiv” rotsting th buss rtrtd ginst tiv mn nd womn, but I suggst tht it rhs byond th boundris of this gnr nd stnds s n imortnt fminist doumnt. Inidnts is rl lif dmonstrtion tht th soil striturs ld on nintnth-ntury womn to mintin th “four rdinl virtusity, urity, submissivnss nd domstiity” wr libl only in rtin idl sttings for whit womn nd n imossibl od for nslvd womn to follow. In struggling ginst th brutl dynmis of systm tht simultnously st bfor hr idls of “tru womnhood” yt rfusd to knowldg hr s humn bing, Jobs mrgs srrd but vitorious. Hr rtionl owrs nd will to tion filitt hr fforts to find strtgis for dling with sxul hrssmnt from hr mstr, for mintining fmily unity, nd for stblishing morl od in hrmony with hr blifs nd sitution..