Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Literature Criticism Sarah Way Sherman

This literature criticism consists of approximately 30 pages of analysis & critique of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
This section contains 8,936 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
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Sarah Way Sherman

SOURCE: "Moral Experience in Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," in NWSA Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring, 1990, pp. 167-85.

In the following essay, Sherman pinpoints the source of the moral conflict and ambiguity in Incidents as the narrator's struggle with the exploitation and brutality of slavery and the idealized conception of "true womanhood." Furthermore, Sherman argues that the depiction of this conflict is the source of the work's strength.

"Slavery is terrible for men," Harriet Jacobs wrote in 1861, "but it is far more terrible for women." Citing this passage from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jean Fagan Yellin argues that Jacobs's book was the first to address the sexual exploitation of women under slavery. But Yellin also notes the rhetorical strain of such...

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This section contains 8,936 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Sarah Way Sherman