Home > Uncategorized > Linda Brent/ Harriet Jacobs, Tomato/Tomato

Linda Brent/ Harriet Jacobs, Tomato/Tomato

After reading several chapters into Linda Brent’s, I mean, Harriet Jacobs’ Incident’s of a Slave Girl, I couldn’t help but compare the first 28 chapters of Jacobs with all the other slave narratives/stories we have read for class. Unlike the others, this one depicted the severity of evil I had previously associated with slavery. It has a deeper purpose than historically educating an audience.  Incident’s was was not an interview to see what her slave experience was like. It is an autobiography with a goal; to reach white northerners (particularly women) and abolish slavery. Jacobs portrayed the harsh reality of slavery that I imagined: the whippings, the cruel treatment, the separation of families, and an inferior view of blacks. Only, she took it several steps further by adding a women’s perspective. She tied in her maternal instincts in order to create a narrative filled with pain and suffering that all could cringe at but only women and mothers could truly comprehend. This is portrayed through the the reoccurring themes of sexual violence and the constant threat of having her children sold, beat, or killed. Subjects that men and most free women, for the most part, would not really be able to relate to. What I really appreciated about her narrative is that she acknowledged how grim her living situation was and directly tells the reader that he/she will not be able to understand what Linda Brent’s life was really like, but this was okay. Brent’s/Jacob’s goal is not for the reader to be able to relate with her (once they finish the story) but that the reader may learn to hate slavery, then to act and ultimately abolish it.  

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