Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs is a powerful and moving quasi-autobiography about her slave life and struggle for emancipation. Jacobs was aspiring to be a girl to the victorian paradigm until slavery gave her a social mask that she could not change. Her organic sense of self was nothing like her social ascription that was forced upon her. The slavocrats of the south created demonically brilliant laws to keep the slaves blind of the outside world and from being able to understand literacy. Jacobs goes through great physical and emotional pain to argue that slavery destroys the morality of everyone around it. Her focus on the brutality and demonic brilliance of slaveholders brings attention to the unknowing people of the north and south. This paper is intended to explain the intricate material of this autobiography and provide information not explained in the book.
To begin, Jacobs position in the antebellum America is not what she truly is organically. Being born into slavery put a social ascription on her that masked whos she truly was. “Being herself means to discover the unity and harmony which exists in her own actual feelings and reactions”(114). As Jacobs aged, she started to understand how to find herself through her feelings and reactions. By the age of 15 Jacobs started being mentally attacked by her master, whispering foul words into her ear, sometimes assumed a gentleness, sometimes assumed a stormy mood. Jacobs soul revolted against his tyranny, but had nowhere to go to feel protected. She consents to a sexual relationship with a neighbor Mr.Sands and outwits Dr.Flint. Although miscegenation is considered taboo and she is not proud of it, Jacobs still avoids being raped by Dr.Flint. Living as a homo sacer in antebellum America was and inevitable fate for slaves across the south.
In addition, the slavocrats in the south created demonically brilliant laws to keep the slaves from knowing about the outside world. Their ideas were so demonically brilliant because if the slaves are not literate they cannot form their own ideas and communicate them. Jacobs, on the other hand knows how to read and write and Dr.Flint does not want her to teach the other slaves and threatens...