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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


by Harriet Jacobs

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Mark 12.31 (1.6)
  • Matthew 7.3-5, Luke 6.41-42 (4.10)
  • Lord Byron, “The Lament of Tasso” (7.1)
  • Exodus 20.15 (9.2)
  • John Norris, The Parting (9.12)
  • Robert Blair, The Grave (9.12)
  • Amelia Matilda Murray (37.5)
  • Mary Howitt, “The Spider and the Fly” (38.3)
  • Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” (40.3)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin (40.15)
  • Ecclesiastes 7.7 (40.13)
  • Job 3.17 (41.23)

Historical References

  • Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion (12.1)
  • Irish Potato Famine (6.1)
  • Albert G. Brown, a Mississippi senator (23.5)
  • Compromise of 1850, a.k.a. “The Fugitive Slave Law” (40.1)
  • Amy Post, Quaker abolitionist (39.5)

Pop Culture References

  • Jenny Lind (40.3)

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