Steering for the North Star

Women Studies / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
The following paper is a critical analysis of Harriet Jacob’s book, `Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl` which consists of Jacobs’ recollections of a life that began in slavery and ended in freedom.

This paper explores Jacob?s book in terms of a historical account that has come to be known as a slave narrative and belongs to the literary genre that, at the turn of the twentieth century, began to be known as “race writing”. The author contends that within the pages of “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” Harriet Jacobs has left a lasting legacy, a legacy that stands as both a reminder of the value of freedom and justice and a representation of the depth of determination and perseverance of purpose that marks a true American spirit.

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Slave Narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
An Overview Breaking the Silence
Slavery & The Black American Candid Characterizations
Slavery & The White American
Conclusion – A Lasting Legacy

“”I have not written my experiences in order to attract attention to myself, on the contrary, it would have been more pleasant to me to have been silent about my own history…I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the people of the free states what slavery really is. Only by experience can anyone realize how deep, and dark, and foul that pit of abominations”. Harriet A. Jacobs, writing under the pseudonym Linda Brent, used this statement to introduce her autobiography, a book entitled Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, first published in Boston in the year 1861.”


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