The autobiography of the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is Linda Brent story. We see the before, duing, and after she was a slave. Her parents died and she was raised by her grandmother named Aunty Marty. Linda did not know she was a slave because her parents did not tell her. In the result of that she grew up with a better mentality rather than a person who knew they were owned by someone from the start. Margaret Horniblow was her slave owner, she taught her about literature and about sowing. After her mistress Margaret died, Linda got a new mistress who was oddly young her name was Emily Flint.
However Emily was not considered Linda’s mistress because what can a 5 year old possibly want. Her dad Dr. Flint took care of that he was the one who told Linda what to do. He was the bad guy in her story because he abused his power and he did not feel sympathy for the slaves. We found out that he abused Linda sexually but she is not left with her arms crossed, as protection she actually gets into a relationship with a white man named Mr. Sands but she doesn’t have any emotions toward him and the result they had two children. Brent runs away from Dr. Flint and she hides for seven years in an attic. In this paper, I will form an argument on how the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl provides evidence in white and slave cultures that shows the social construction of gender shaped workspace, family, and the type of access of education.
Education was not given to slaves. Slave owners had different points of view when it came to that there was slave owners who just saw them as property and a very small amount of slave owners felt bad for the slaves and as a reward they taught them something. The majority of the slave owner thought they had no need to learn anything. Education was exclusive to slaves it did not matter if you were a male nor female. However, if a slave knew how to read was because their masters or mistress taught them to. To have the small amount of slave owners that felt sympathy was very rare. Linda had a sympathetic master because she knew literacy, her first slave owner taught her that. In the brighter side of the spectrum, white people males and females received an education.
The family was very important to both white and black people. However, for a black person who cared for their family, it was hard to keep their family intact White slave owners were cruel because they did not feel compassion for the children who were abducted from their mothers. A mother would do anything to get their children back but it was not easy, if the mother wanted her child back she had to purchase them as if they were some type of toy they were buying from the store.
Her grandmother, Aunty Marty was separated from her kids, Benjamin and Philip. Aunty Marty became her own mistress, she bought her son Philip but never knew what happen to her son Benjamin after he was free. The family structure of a slave is how we could imagine it, males were in charge, as part of their job they had to provide to his owner but if the male slave did not have a family it would be the same structure but what changed is that he had to only support himself.
Linda remained hiding in a space above the shed for seven years in order for her kids and her be free. The sacrifice she did was only what a mother would do for her family. Families would get separated no matter your gender, female and male slaves were treated the same in that aspect. A white person had it easy, they did not have to worry who was going to buy them, how were they going to be split apart, or if they had enough money to buy their children back from a slave owner. In a white people were united as a family, the only reason a white person was separated from their family was if they were running away from them due to conflicts and different opinions that they shared.
Everybody would like to have a job in order to have money on his or her wallet and provide the bread for your family. If you were a female and male slave, getting a job was not easy, typically slaves had a challenging job such as working in the plantation fields. Female slaves did everything at home, cook, clean, and bare children. In the autobiography states, how a female would cook for the master and if the master was not satisfied with food they were given, the master would whip the female slave. Slave owners would have sexual desires for their slaves. Slaves had to obey what their master told them to do if there was some type of resists they were punished. Having to be owned by someone was not easy, male slaves would get into arguments with their master and the arguments would escalate quickly when that happens they were punished, their punishment was not providing food for them and including a physical punishment. White people were not put through all of this, they did not have hard jobs because they would monitor slaves and owned them.
The autobiography was written during 1861. Her story was the beginning of a good change. Her story is mind-blowing, she had to face a difficult obstacle in order to be free, many people should read her story to learn about history. Throughout this course we saw males and female slaves were not very different. Both sex did not received education but males had more of an advantage. Slaves would learn something if their master or mistress taught them something. The family role was different for both sex because females had to do household activities and take care of the children in the other hand males had to provide income. Same goes with getting a job, women would not work and stayed home and males would work in the fields.
White people’s life was not as challenging. Both sex had the opportunity to have a decent education. Women did not have as a respectful job as man did. Family roles were similar to slave women roles, they had to take care of their children. Males were the alfa. However, this is her story we can not rely on her insight. The way things that happen to her were very heart breaking but she was not the exception, if we dig more into more female slaves story her story would be similar to the rest of them. It is a good thing that a woman shared her story, we are used to males having more power than women and society views that as a correct thing.
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