"Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and Womanhood Book Review by writingsensation

"Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and Womanhood
A review of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", the autobiography of Harriet Jacobs.
# 75582 | 2,106 words | 1 source | MLA | 2006 | US

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This paper reviews Harriet Jacobs' autobiography "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl". This paper discusses how, in her autobiography, Harriet Jacobs used domestic ideology of violated womanhood to sway her Northern audience to the cause of abolition.

From the Paper:

"In Chapter 1, Jacobs stresses the angelic quality of her early upbringing, much like the idealized version of childhood cherished in the 19th century portrayal of a happy home. " I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a piece of merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded of them at any moment." She also notes that "in complexion my parents were a light shade of brownish yellow, and were termed mulattos," a not-so subtle mention of the fact that her parents were at least partially white, creating an evident racial as well as domestic sense of sympathy between herself and her white readers whom she wished to convert to the abolitionist cause." Her uncle "inherited the complexion my grandmother had derived from Anglo-Saxon ancestors." (Jacobs, Chapter 1, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JACOBS/hjch1.htm)
The plantation owner of Jacobs' maternal grandmother set her free. Thus Jacobs stresses that she was born, in some sense, free, in a venue of conventional, almost white hearth and home. This sense of conversation with the reader is further underlined by Jacobs' reference to the reader in an intimate fashion, as if she or he is beside her side. "The reader probably knows that no promise or writing given to a slave is legally binding; for, according to Southern laws, a slave, being property, can hold no property. When my grandmother lent her hard earnings to her mistress, she trusted solely to her honor. The honor of a slaveholder to a slave!".

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and Womanhood (2006, December 17) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/incidents-in-the-life-of-a-slave-girl-and-womanhood-75582/

MLA Format

""Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and Womanhood" 17 December 2006. Web. 28 January. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/incidents-in-the-life-of-a-slave-girl-and-womanhood-75582/>