Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Critical Essay by Mary Helen Washington

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
This section contains 5,316 words
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Thomas Doherty

SOURCE: "Harriet Jacobs' Narrative Strategies: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" in Southern Literary Journal, Vol. XIX, No. 1, Fall, 1986, pp. 79-91.

In the following essay, Doherty examines Jacob's use of the conventions of the sentimental genre and describes the shortcomings of Incidents as a sentimental novel. Rather, he argues that Jacobs "ingeniously inducts 'women's literature' into the cause of women's politics."

In 1853, the fugitive slave Harriet Jacobs confided her literary ambitions to the poet and abolitionist Amy Post. "Don't expect too much of me, dear Amy," she cautioned, "You shall have truth but not talent" (Sterling 79). Jacobs' modest opinion of the work that became Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, has generally accorded with critical opinion. When noted at all, it has been valued primarily as a historical document, one of the precious few antebellum...

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This section contains 5,316 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Anne B. Dalton