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Kim Larson


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Life of a Slave Girl

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Kim Larson

  1. 1. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Kim Larson
  2. 2. Main Ideas and Points <ul><li>“No pen can give an adequate description of all the pervading corruption produced by slavery” (page 79). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This statement is the all-encompassing main point of this work. All other quotes can be viewed in terms of their relationships to this concept. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Powerful and Harsh Masters <ul><li>“ I could tell of more slaveholders as cruel as those I have described. They are not exceptions to the general rule. I do not say there are no humane slaveholders. Such characters do exist, notwithstanding the hardening influences around them. But they are &quot;like angels' visits--few and far between.“” (Page 77) </li></ul><ul><li>Linda goes into detail about the slave holders that lived near her and the punishments the slaves endured for offenses that they committed. The punishments were severe and harsh considering the minor nature of most of the offenses. Slaves were treated more like dogs than humans. Most slave owners did not even provide their slaves adequate sustenance and worked them to death. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Powerful and Harsh Masters <ul><li>“ No pen can give an adequate description of all the pervading corruption produced by slavery” (page 79). </li></ul><ul><li>Having such powerful masters is something that can only read about. There is no way to truly understand the fear and suffering that the slaves endured. The horrific treatment by the slave holders is difficult to understand. How one could treat another human in such a way is beyond the ability for any person with a modern sense of morality to comprehend. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Broken Families <ul><li>Linda experienced the loss of her family throughout her life. She was left parentless after her mother and father died while she was young. She lost her uncles who chose to become free. She even gave up contact with her children so that they could experience the freedom she could not. Slavery forced her to give up everything that she valued in life. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Moreover, my mistress, like many others, seemed to think that slaves had no right to any family ties of their own; that they were created merely to wait upon the family of the mistress” (page 59) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Broken Families <ul><li>“ No pen can give an adequate description of all the pervading corruption produced by slavery” (page 79). </li></ul><ul><li>We can all try to image what it would have been like to lose our mother, father, son, and daughter, but until we actually experience it it’s hard to imagine how horrific it could be. Imagine being a slave and not knowing if tomorrow your son or daughter will be taken away from you forever. This fear by itself seems horrible, but when it is used by a slave owner as a means of keeping the slaves in line, it becomes something far worse. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Lack of Education <ul><li>“ I asked him if he didn't know it was contrary to law; and that slaves were whipped and imprisoned for teaching each other to read” (page 112). </li></ul><ul><li>Linda was one of the few slaves who learned how to read and write. Most slave owners felt that slaves should not be educated. If slaves could read, then it meant they might think for themselves and realize the horrors of their situation. Being able to read and write could have helped slaves stand up for themselves and slave owners wanted nothing to do with that. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Lack of Education <ul><li>“ No pen can give an adequate description of all the pervading corruption produced by slavery” (page 79). </li></ul><ul><li>Slave owners had a notion of superiority over their slaves. The slave’s job was to do the work demanded by the owner without question. Slave owners felt that by providing slaves with even the simplest of educations could lead to an uprising. Slaves were therefore forced into a form of intellectual bondage, not being able to fully understand their situation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Fears After Freedom <ul><li>Linda was always worried about her freedom even when she was in the North. She lived in constant fear that someone would find her and make her return to slavery. She had a hard time trusting anyone for fear they would make her go back to her slave owners. </li></ul><ul><li>“ But when summer came, the old feeling of insecurity haunted me. It was necessary for me to take little Mary out daily, for exercise and fresh air, and the city was swarming with Southerners, some of whom might recognize me. Hot weather brings out snakes and slaveholders, and I like one class of the venomous creatures as little as I do the other” (262-263). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Fears After Freedom <ul><li>“ No pen can give an adequate description of all the pervading corruption produced by slavery” (page 79). </li></ul><ul><li>Even though Linda was free she was scared Mr. Flint would find her. Slaves like her had been brainwashed to think that they did not deserve to live a life like others. Even after slavery, they had to fear for their lives and remain distrustful of others. They lived as best as they could freely, but they always did so with the fear that it could be taken away from them in an instant. This also damaged their ability to function in society and trust others since they were in constant fear. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Bibliography <ul><li>Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Boston: L. MARIA CHILD, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachedetts, 1861 online at;hf=0;pt=1579 </li></ul>All pictures came from PPT clip art