Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the life of a slave girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


1.In the preface Harriet wrote, “But I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I have suffered, and most of them far worse.” To what extent is Harriet’s story, a woman’s story? Provide examples. How effective is she in providing evidence to “arouse the women of the North”?

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Harriet's story is a woman's story and a slave story. While slavery was terrible for both men and women, the latter suffered its own particular tragedies. Women, and even young girls, found that their bodies were not their own - they were looked upon as sexual objects that existed for their masters to enact their most depraved sexual fantasies upon. They were taunted and insulted, as in Harriet's case, or outright raped. Many were made to bear the children of their white masters, all the while being deprived of marriage to the men that they would choose for themselves. Furthermore, any child born to a slave woman would be also be a slave, no matter the position of the father. Harriet notes that slave girls simply did not have the option of being virtuous since their virtue was under constant assault. Slave mothers also felt the keen and wrenching pain of seeing their children beaten or sold, or, if they were girls, experience the same woes as they did. I don't know how effective her plea to the women of the North was at the time. Cultural subjugation of blacks was a problem all over America.