Books and Movies Reviews

Harriet Jacobs

Harriet Jacobs tells the story of her life in slavery in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Though born a slave in 1813 in North Carolina, Harriet's early years were spent under a kind mistress.Her mother and father, both slaves, were permitted to live together as a family.Due to her fathers sought after carpentry skill,he was able to hire himself out for work, even though he was a slave. Because of her mistresses kindness and her family's living situation, she did not realize that she was indeed a slave until the age of six.Harriet's understanding that she was someone else's property set in after her mothers death.In 1825, the kind mistress passed away and Harriett became the property ofthe mistressesfive year old niece.Due to the girls young age, her father "Dr. Flint", was in charge of HarrietUnder the roof of"Dr. and Mrs. Flint", Harriet had to endure his sexual abuse and his wife's jealous mistreatment.When she becomes involved with "Mr. Sands," a white, unmarried attorney, she feels both freedom from "Dr. Flint" and guilt for violating her moral principles.She eventually has two children, Joseph and Louisa, by "Mr. Sands."
"Dr. Flints" jealousy of "Mr. Sands" causes him to become even more controlling ofHarriet. It seems that because Harriet had such a positive early childhood, it was even more difficult for her to accept the intolerable position of life as a slave.
When the situation is finally to much to bear, Harriet escapes her owner and goes into hiding in the garret of her grandmother’s house in Edenton. She remained in this self-imposed hiding for seven years before escaping in 1842to the North in . Ten years later, Harriet is finally freed from slavery when her friend and employer Cornelia Willis,buys her freedom for the price of three hundred dollars.


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