Harriet Jacobs Research Paper

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Mikayla Kucken 2/9/15 African American Literature #62830 In what ways does Harriet Jacobs's gender influence how she views slavery and freedom? Just as adults view the world differently than children, men view things differently than women. One story, told from a woman's perspective, could sound completely different than the same one told by a man. This is true in almost every aspect of life, and can be traced back to historical times as well. This difference in perspectives is very apparent in the novel. Slavery is seen and felt by each individual in a different way. But looking at a more broad group of individuals, men and women play very different roles when it comes to slavery. In general, the men were the ones put to work out in the…show more content…
As a female slave, Jacobs shows the readers a different side to slavery that most don’t know about. Most people only think of slavery from a mans point of view, where great emphasis was placed on the physical pain and brutality that they endured. Jacobs instead emphasizes that it doesn’t matter whether or not they are beaten, starved, or made to work in the fields, all female slaves suffer horrible mental tortures such as sexual harassment and the loss of their children. She repeatedly mentions the emotional agony of mothers whose children are taken from them, and sold God knows…show more content…
If the master’s child needed feeding too, the women would have to put her own child’s needs aside and feed the master’s child, even if that meant theirs would go hungry. That is never something that a mother should have to do. To make matters worse, the birth of a baby girl was most devastating for a mother. This meant that her daughter would be subjected to the same cruel punishment and sexual victimization that she herself endured. For women, these experiences are what created that emotional bondage and were just as difficult as physical punishment, if not

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