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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Chapter 8, What Slaves are Taught to Believe About the North Summary & Analysis

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Here the reader learns how slaves are told believe that life in the northern states is more difficult and unpleasant than their current lives in slavery. Their masters fabricate stories about escaped slaves and the terrible fates they meet in the North. Dr. Flint tells Linda that he has seen an escaped friend of hers in the free states, living in such terrible circumstances that she begged to be returned to slavery. Linda will meet with this friend, in New York, many years later, and find her living comfortably with no thoughts of returning to slavery.

To some extent, the slaves believe these lies, since most of them lack the education and contact with the outside world they would need to determine otherwise. However, Linda believes that nearly all slaves are at least a little skeptical about the stories they are told about the North. Still, fear of the unknown discourages many would-be escapees.

Linda notes that Northerners who relocate to the South and purchase slaves tend to be harsher slave-masters than native-born Southerners, and this may contribute some credibility, in the slaves' eyes, to the unflattering stories they are told about the North.

This section contains 194 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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