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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 Slavery Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Chapter.Paragraph

Quote #1

I had not lived fourteen years in slavery for nothing. I had felt, seen, and heard enough, to read the characters, and question the motives, of those around me. The war of my life had begun; and though one of God's most powerless creatures, I resolved never to be conquered. (4.10)

Today, most American fourteen-year-olds are just trying to figure out how to get a later curfew or a bigger allowance. Not Linda. Linda isn't taking on her parents; she's taking on the entire system of slavery.

Quote #2

We all concluded by saying, "He that is willing to be a slave, let him be a slave." (4.46)

Here's an early clue to what makes Linda able to fight her way out of slavery. Aunt Martha has instilled within her grandchildren a kind of stubbornness and a refusal to submit that serves Linda well.

Quote #3

No matter whether the slave girl be as black as ebony or as fair as her mistress. In either case, there is no shadow of law to protect her from insult, from violence, or even from death; all these are inflicted by fiends who bear the shape of men (5.1)

Raping a white woman is punishable by death at this time. Raping a black woman? As long as you don't brag about it, go right ahead.

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