Study Guide

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Chapter 2, The New Master and Mistress Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
This section contains 350 words
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Chapter 2, The New Master and Mistress Summary and Analysis

As her new legal mistress is a five-year-old child, the girl's parents, Dr. and Mrs. Flint, become Linda's de facto master and mistress. William is purchased by the same family, and he finds it difficult to adjust to life in bondage

Linda and William's father is distraught by his utter lack of power to protect his own children. He has tried to purchase their freedom, but to no avail. Shortly after Linda and William enter the home of the Flints, their father dies suddenly, bringing the children increased awareness of their own powerlessness. Their grandmother, Aunt Marthy, resolves to be a mother to her grandchildren to the greatest extent possible.

The reader learns the story about how this same Dr. Flint tried to cheat Linda's grandmother out of her lawfully obtained freedom, and how she was rescued by a kind relative of her late mistress who purchased and freed her at the age of fifty. At the time when Linda and William go to live in the Flint household, Aunt Marthy is living in her own house as a free woman.

In Dr. Flint's house Linda is exposed for the first time to the kinds of horrific abuses to slaves that Linda later concludes are widespread. Shortly after her arrival, a man is beaten within an inch of his life for voicing his (rightful) suspicions that Dr. Flint has fathered his wife's child. The reader learns that this man, his wife, and her illegitimate child are subsequently sold to slave traders to shield Dr. Flint from public suspicion. One also learns about another young woman who suffers greatly before she dies giving birth to her master's child. These are the first mentions of the sexual abuse of female slaves, which is a recurring theme throughout the narrative.

Linda also comments that many of the slaves in Dr. Flints household are not properly fed. However, Linda herself is never forced to go hungry because her grandmother generously provides decent food from her kitchen.

This section contains 350 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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