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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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

Quote #1

I admit that the black man is inferior. But what is it that makes him so? It is the ignorance in which white men compel him to live; it is the torturing whip that lashes manhood out of him; it is the fierce bloodhounds of the South, and the scarcely less cruel human bloodhounds of the North, who enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. They do the work. (8.4)

Jacobs wants the reader to see that the North and South are interdependent. They work together to enforce some of slavery’s cruelest laws.

Quote #2

At daylight, I heard women crying fresh fish, berries, radishes, and various other things. All this was new to me. I dressed myself at an early hour, and sat at the window to watch that unknown tide of life. Philadelphia seemed to me a wonderfully great place. (31.9)

Hey! Linda is actually expressing happiness and wonder. This might be the first time we've seen her in a good mood.

Quote #3

This was the first chill to my enthusiasm about the Free States. Colored people were allowed to ride in a filthy box, behind white people, at the south, but there they were not required to pay for their privilege. It made me sad to find how the north aped the customs of slavery. (31.12)

Mostly, Jacobs seems to want to show not how different the North is from the South, but how similar the two places are.

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