In Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, her commitment to her children and her desperation for freedom drastically changed her life choices. Instead of escaping on her own, Harriet Jacobs had her children’s freedom to think about. Jacobs had a near death experience after the birth of her daughter Ellen, and her “life was spared: and [she] was glad for sake of [her] little ones”(488). She did not care about her well-being as long as her children were safe. Her hardships with living with her master, Dr. Flint, sparked her desire for freedom as well. Harriet Jacobs was a strong woman whose motive to shape a path towards freedom was intensified by her children.
Born into slavery, Harriet Jacobs spent her early year with her mother and father, but after her mother’s death she was sent to live and work at her mother’s masters house. Luckily, this master treated her well and even taught her how to read and write. After the death of this mistress, Harriet Jacobs was sent to one of the mistress’s relatives, Dr. Flint. Dr. Flint is cruel and causes Harriet Jacobs to live through many obstacles and hardships. His obsession with her got so extreme that he “met [her] at every turn, [which reminded her] that [she] belonged to him”(437). He pressured and threatened her to have a sexual relationship with him, but Harriet Jacobs did not give into his threats. When Mrs. Flint found out about Dr. Flint’s intensions, she confronted Harriet Jacobs and started to blame Jacobs for the problems in her marriage even though Harriet Jacobs did not do anything that would get her involved in those affairs. To prevent Dr. Flint from getting his way, Harriet Jacobs had an affair with a white neighbor, Mr. Sands. Not only would this stop Dr. Flint from constantly tormenting her, it could possibly cause him to sell her to his neighbor in disgust. Being a female slave, Harriet Jacobs had to live through countless encounters where she was mentally and physically tortured by...
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