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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Essay

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topic:How much harder slavery was for women than men... I got a 75 w/o a work cited.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Essay

No one in today's society can even come close to the heartache, torment, anguish, and complete misery suffered by women in slavery. Many women endured this agony their entire lives, there only joy being there children and families, who were torn away from them and sold, never to be seen or heard from again. Thesis

In the book, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl, Linda Brent tells a spectacular story of her twenty years spent in slavery with her master Dr. Flint, and her jealous Mistress. She speaks of her trials and triumphs as well as the harms done to other slaves. She takes you on the inside of slavery and shows you the Hell on Earth slavery really was. She tells you the love and heartbreak she experienced being an unmarried slave mother. At around the age of twenty or so, Linda escapes and ends up in very small garret only nine foot long and seven foot wide. So small she could not even stand up. She lived in this hole with no light, no fresh air, and barely ever moved for almost seven years. She finally escaped and made it to the North where she and her children lived much happier and most of all they lived free.

Linda Brent said, \\\"Slavery is terrible for men, but is far more terrible for women.\\\" She makes a good and true point, for when her life and the life of other slave women is compared to men's, mentally, slavery takes a much larger toll on the suffering of women. Women are responsible for their children, because the children follow the mother and mothers often fill guilty for bringing children into the cruel world of slavery. As Linda Brent expresses, \\\"I often prayed for death; but now I didn't want to die, unless my child could die too . . .(Benny) it's clinging fondness was a mixture of love and pain . . . Sometimes I wished that he (Benny) might die in infancy . . .Death is better than slavery\\\". In the book Linda has mixed feelings about her children because she so dearly loves them. She doesn't want them to suffer in slavery as she has so she wishes they would die, but she loves them and she doesn't want to lose them as many slave mothers had. How torn and incapable she must have felt as a slave mother. Linda also speaks of \\\"The Slaves New Year's Day\\\", this was the time that slaves everywhere were sold and leased. Many mothers were torn from their husbands and their children. Linda speaks of one woman she witnessed, \\\"I saw a mother lead seven children to the auction-block. She knew that some of them would be taken from her; but they took all . . .(The woman screamed) Gone! All gone! Why don't God kill me?\\\" Linda explains that things like this happen daily, even hourly. This is only a small piece of the torture it was to be a woman in slavery. Linda's master often made perverted comments to her in which she expressed as to filthy to tell. He began to fill her mind with awful thoughts and words. He often slapped Linda and kicked her around. He was constantly threatening her and her life explaining that he would never sell her and that she would be in their damily as long as he had an heir. When Linda became pregnant with the son of a white man, he became very angry and he constantly reminded her that her baby was to be his property, like a piece of land to be bought. When she had the boy she named Benjamin, he was premature and she became very ill. She refused to let anyone send for a doctor, because the only doctor that could treat her was Dr. Flint. Finally when they thought she would die they sent for her master. He treated her and she refused him as much as possible, but she lived and so did her little Benny, although sometimes she wished he would've died. Almost three years later she had a daughter who she called Ellen which angered him even more and when Benny began to run to cling to his mother when he was striking her, Dr. Flint knocked the child all the way across the room nearly killing him.

Linda finally escaped and hid at various places, in a white friends house, where she was made very sick when concealed in a very damp place under the floor. She then remained in a locked storage room upstairs until she found out her children were sold to their father, who never really claimed them, Mr. Sands. He handed the children and their papers over to her grandmother. The woman she was staying with finally thought it best for both of their sakes that she left, because people were becoming suspicious. When she left they had no where to conceal her so, they disguised her and she sat out at the snaky swamp for two days while they were building her a small garret outside her grandmother's house. At the swamp she claimed the snakes were so plentiful that they had to push them away with a stick and the air was so thick with mosquitos she became ill from all the bites. They finally finished and she hid out in the small garret that was about three feet in height, nine feet in length, and five feet in width. She spoke of the suffocating air, the dampness always about during the rains, and the smothering heat in the summer. She even talked about the rats and mice crawling over her body. She told about watching her two children Ellen and Benny grow up through a small peep hole. Her grandmother would bring her food at night and talk with her. Even as her great aunt was dying she could not leave to tend to her, all she could do was stay in her little smothering space. Soon Dr. Flint began saying that the children belonged to his daughter and the contract of their sale was not legal because she was too young to consent to sale them. So in fear that he would take Ellen, Mr. Sands said he would send her to stay with a cousin, in the



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