Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a shockingly true story by Harriet Jacobs writing as Linda Brent. Jacob’s audience is toward white, rich, educated, Christian woman of the North. Jacobs wants to let these women know how slaves are really treated in the South. Her purpose is to encourage woman to take a stand and fight against slavery.
The reason why woman during Linda’s time period feel the need to give up everything for their child is because they have nothing else to do. During this time, a woman is just good for producing and nurturing a child. Women can choose not to have a child, but they wouldn’t be much good to the husband. Back then a women is a mother first and a person second.
Although Linda is not her grandmother’s child, she still treats Linda like her own. She clothes, feeds, and houses Linda. Her grandmother also works more than she has to so she can buy Linda out of slavery. Her grandmother knows she can use the money to benefit herself, but she chooses not to. She loves Linda so much that she is willing to make her life worse so Linda’s can be better. Nobody ever talks about the secret rule that a child’s life should be better than the parents; however, every parent thinks it. Parents know all the hardships they encountered and know how to shield it away from their children. Linda’s grandmother doesn’t want Linda to go through what she went through.
During Linda’s time, it is not enough just to love one’s children. To be a truly committed parent, women are expected to be mothers above all else. In this time a woman cannot own land, speak what they think, or hold office. “Republican motherhood” is a term to describe women’s roles during the American Revolution to the 1920’s. This term encourages women to be part of the political process by raising good citizens. This term is not applicable to the 21st century. Today, women are quickly moving up their ranks. Women can now own land, speak what they think, and even hold...
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