Slavery has been thewicked phenomena in the world. Slavery is very unnatural and aggravates mixedoutlooks from the perspective of every person. Some of the people still faceslavery in the present times. Other people do not necessarily understand that aperson can treat another individual as a slave.
In definition, slavery is oneof the first forms of exploitation, where the slave becomes the property of aslave owner. The book by Harriet Jacobs (2009), “Incidents in the Life of aSlave Girl” provides the description of slavery in America. The author of thebook is the narrator herself in the book and she describes the life as a slave.In the autobiography, she recounts the experiences before she was fled from theslavery and she portrayed the sexual history while she was a slave. Slavery inAmerica was a legal institution of the human chattel enslavement, majorly theAfrican Americans and the Africans who lived in the country in the 18th and19th centuries after the independence of the nation and before the Americancivil war ended. Slavery was practiced in America from the colonial era and itwas legal at the period of the declaration of independence in the year 1776. Realizationof the slavery During Harriet early life, she didnot realize that she was a slave and she lived with her father and mother in arelatively secure and comfortable life.
They lived together with her extendedfamily. This was not common for a number of reasons the first being thatHarriet came from the family which was unclear and she was never treated poorlywhen she was a child. “They lived together in a comfortable home; and, thoughwe were all slaves, I was so fondly shielded that I never dreamed I was a pieceof merchandise, trusted to them for safe keeping, and liable to be demanded ofthem at any moment.” Harriet Jacobs, p. 7. Even though her parents passed awaywhen she was young, the grandmother was the central figure in her life and shewas able to provide her with security, comfort, unrelenting love and moralguidance.
When Harriet realized that she was a slave she was startled and whenshe learned that she was never going to reverse this information and she stuckin the psychological trauma of having the knowledge that she was just a pieceof property. Justificationof slavery One of the methods which theslaveholders were justifying the slavery was through the enforcing of the claimthat the slaves were not actually human beings. They were barbarous, inferiorand savage is all kinds of ways. Theslave who thought that he poses the values of tried to inoculate similar valuesin the other slaves was seen dangerous and most oppressed. The father ofHarriet tried to teach his kids that they had their worth but this was againstthe desire of the slaveholder to be able to keep the slaves dumb anddocile. Benjamin the uncle to Harrietalso proclaimed his self-rule and by refusing to obey the master he waspunished severely. He later runs away so as to escape the situation. Harrietwas able to mention in the incidents show how Mrs.
Flint was shocked that aslave might want to worship, mourn, maintain the social connections, and read.Unluckily, some of the slaves were able to internalize this mentality and thusthis made it hard for the slaves to rebel against the meaning of the lives orto be able to find any meaning of their lives. Insensitive, they were able tocope with the slavery without having to feel inferior of their status in thesociety. The mistress who was supposed to assist the helpless victim did nothave any feelings for her but just rage and jealousy.
One of the common myth thatwas being articulated by the slaveholders to provide justification for theirslavery was that the slaves were inferior intellectually. “I admit that theblack man is inferior. But what is it that makes him so? It is the ignorance inwhich white men compel him to live; it is the torturing whip that lashesmanhood out of him; it is the fierce bloodhounds of the South, and the scarcelyless cruel human bloodhounds of the north, who enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.They do the work.
” Harriet Jacobs, p. 49. Jacob did not accept this assumptionand refutes it by telling the readers that the blacks were inferior as a resultof the slavery and what the white man had rendered them. The fact that theblack man has been refused the education, religion, and lives in the frightenedand paranoid state it is no wonder that he can be able to develop his mindintellectually.
The fact that Harriet and the others like Douglas can be ableto write books is an indication that the blacks have abilities if they were tobe provided with the right opportunities to learn and to cultivate their minds.The work of Harriet seeks to be able to combat the stereotypes which lead tothe whites to see the slaves as fewer humans and if they can be able toaccomplish the bondage system can look less desirable. Harriet provided the details ofher persecutions from the Dr. Flint and pursues to correct the supposition thatthe wife of the slaveholder could have any interest in the protection of theyoung slaves from the predation of her husband. “The degradation, the wrongs,the vices that grow out of slavery are more than I can describe.
They aregreater than you would willingly