Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Harriet Jacobs
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Contrasting Regions Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Chapter.Paragraph
Being in servitude to the Anglo-Saxon race, I was not put into a “Jim Crow car,” on our way to Rockaway, neither was I invited to ride through the streets on the top of trunks in a truck; but every where I found the same manifestations of that cruel prejudice, which so discourages the feelings, and represses the energies of the colored people. (35.5)
Okay, so she's not enslaved. Other than that, the North is pretty much business as usual.
For the first time in my life I was in a place where I was treated according to my deportment, without reference to my complexion. I felt as if a great millstone had been lifted from my breast. Ensconced in a pleasant room, with my dear little charge, I laid my head on my pillow, for the first time, with the delightful consciousness of pure, unadulterated freedom. (37.2)
Check out where Linda experiences this “delightful consciousness”—in England. She can only really feel at home when she's actually nowhere near home.
I had heard much about the oppression of the poor in Europe. The people I saw around me were, many of them, among the poorest poor. But when I visited them in their little thatched cottages, I felt that the condition of even the meanest and most ignorant among them was vastly superior to the conditions of the most favored slaves in America. (37.4)
Jacobs prods her readers a little bit here by suggesting that America is not as devoted to freedom and liberty as it might think. Maybe England, America’s bitter rival and former colonial master, is actually treating its citizens better.