Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs – Book Report/Review Example
The paper "Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs" is a great example of a history book review.
Harriet and the slave community in general, hold dearly to the institution of the family. So important is the family to the slave community that they would sacrifice their freedom to keep the family together. Aunt Martha grieves throughout the story because the slaves make attempts to escape from slavery. Escape from slavery comes with a cost: family separation. She endeavors to protect her family at all costs. Consequently, she is the only one who is able to stand up to the Flints with pride and dignity.
The novel also highlights the plight of female slaves in antebellum America. The brunt of slavery was heavier on them compared to their male counterparts as they also faced sexual abuse. Linda’s master, Mr. Flint, constantly pursues her for a sexual relationship. He tries tricking and threatening her, but to no avail. In order to escape Flint’s clutches, Linda gets into a relationship with another white master, Mr. Sands. The product of this relationship is two children, Benny and Ellen. Mr. Flint has a legal right to even rape Linda although he does not get to do so. Linda is luckier than other female slaves who are forced into sex by their masters.
At the end of the novel, the slaves gain their much-needed freedom. However, the slaves receive it with trepidation – they are not completely free from the shackles of slavery. Linda says that she could not go out to breathe God’s free air without trepidation in her heart (Jacobs p. 220). She is afraid her former masters may still come after her. Her fears are justified at the end when Mr. and Mrs. Dodge arrive in New York one day with a view to capturing her and taking her back south. Therefore, the slaves will never be absolutely free.