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Different Perspectives for Reading Incidents
 
 

There are many different ways to read Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  The following is a list of several perspectives:

  • as an example of a work of literature written by a slave woman;
  • to illustrate how the various members of an intact slave family interacted under the burden of slavery;
  • from a moral point of view (In the book, Jacobs asks her readers to be understanding of the conflict between some of her actions and her knowledge of what is morally correct.);
  • to better understand the psychological impact of slavery on its victims;
  • as an example of civil disobedience (in the same manner as Thoreau who published "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" in 1849, fourteen years after Harriet Jacobs ran away from Dr. Flint and two years after she escaped to the North).

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