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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 Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Chapter.Paragraph

Quote #1

I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse. (Preface.3)

Jacobs states right out what she's trying to do: get Northern women fired up about the wrongs done to women. It might have worked, if the Civil War didn't happen first.

Quote #2

When he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in every thing; that I was nothing but a slave, whose will must and should surrender to his, never before had my puny arm felt half so strong. (4.5)

Dr. Flint’s attempt to objectify Linda (literally, to turn her into a sexual object) backfires, because it actually makes her realize that she's not an object. Total fail.

Quote #3

I was an object of her jealousy, and, consequently, of her hatred; and I knew I could not expect kindness or confidence from her under the circumstances in which I was placed. I could not blame her. Slaveholders' wives feel as other women would under similar circumstances. (6.8)

Even though Mrs. Flint terrorizes her, Linda justifies Mrs. Flint’s behavior in the context of the institution of slavery. This ability to empathize helps makes Linda a compelling and trustworthy narrator.

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