Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl

What issues does Linda Brent advocate for in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl?

As described in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, how does Nancy affect her family?

According to Chapter 6 of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, why is Mrs. Flint jealous of slaves, and how does she act on that jealousy?

As seen in Chapter 16 of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, how does Ellen’s unhappiness emphasize the dilemma of slave mothers?

18 Replies to “Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl”

  1. Mrs. Flint in chapter 6 is extremely jealous of slaves because her husband had almost a dozen children by his slave women. She mainly takes out all of her frustration out on Linda. Mr.Flint is very obsessive of Linda and Mrs. Flint isn’t blind to it.

  2. One of the issues that Linda Brent advocate in this entire book is the sexual abuse going on between the slaves and the slave owners. Another is that she argues that slavery destroys the morality of the slave owners. For example in chapter 8, page 78; she states, “Most slave masters view slaves as a little more than animals or objects, never acknowledging their humanity.” There is also the psychological effects that slavery has, she presents gory, descriptive details about the whippings. Plus slave men and women are permitted to marry each other.

  3. Aunt Nancy was deathly ill in the beginning of chapter 28, which affected Linda and the rest of her family. Over the years, Nancy has been really kind to Linda, acting as a second mother to her. Nancy had an exceptionally rough life, she spent her entire life enslaved by the Flints and being treated terribly by them. Linda was devastated when Aunt Nancy died because she used to get protected from Mr. & Mrs. Flint by her overall presence in chapter 6.

  4. Ellen’s [Linda’s daughter] unhappiness emphasizes the dilemma of slave mothers by Linda getting frustrated by the fact that Ellen is given laborious work, being separated from her mother, and treated like a slave. Overall slave mothers struggle to protect their children and families since they have no control over what to do with them; the slave owners do.

  5. 1. Linda Brent is an advocate for abolition of slavery. Throughout the whole book, she describes the horrible events that the slaves were put through. For example, she explains a time that an advertisement was put up for a public sales and negroes and horses. Dr. Flint told Linda’s grandmother that she will be put up for sale, regardless of how she feels about it. “On the appointed day, the customary advertisement was posted up, proclaiming…”

  6. 2. Nancy affects her family because she gives them strength and encourages all of them, especially Linda. Nancy was forced to sleep on the floor by Mrs. Flints door to serve her and while doing that, she had to mourn losing her 6 premature babies and 2 feeble babies. Nancy would often sneak over to Linda at night and give her hope and encouragement that she would be able to be free one day, regardless of what others thought. “When my friends tried to discourage me from running away; she always encouraged me”.

  7. 3. Mrs. Flint is jealous of slaves because Dr. Flint has been a father to 11 slave children. “I had entered my sixteenth year and every day it became more apparent that my presence was intolerable to Mrs. Flint”, this shows that Mrs. Flint was jealous. Mrs. Flint shows this jealousy because she called Linda in her room and asked her a series of questions. Not only did she ask questions but she made Linda put her hand on the Bible and swear that she would only tell her the truth. “She handed me the Bible, and said, “Lay your hand on your heart,…”.

  8. 4. Ellen’s unhappiness shows the dilemma of slave mothers because if the mothers choose to leave, their children will have to be forced as slaves. The children will cry since they are not use to these circumstances and the children’s cries will heart the mother dearly. These feelings can cause the mothers to second guess their choice of leaving. “One day, she sat under the window where I was at work, crying that weary cry which makes a mother’s heart bleed”.

  9. 1. One of Linda Brent issues advocate in this book is her relationships with her family and her being a slave. Throughout the book she is described poorly and her sexual abuse between her and and the slave owners. For an example Linda totally rejects her master’s claim that she is his property, body and soul. She is an independent spirit, and Dr. Flint’s sexual harassment only intensifies her desire to control her own life.
    2. Nancy affects her family in a positive way and always try’s to be there for the best support she could be and she always tried to step up to linda to try to act like a mother to her because she knew what she went through and she just wanted to be the difference but aunt nancy got very sick and that really hurt linda seeing her that way. eventually aunt nancy died and linda was very sad and got very depressed.
    3. In chapter six Mrs.flint got very jealous because her husband had alot of kids by his slave women. She shows extreme jealousy because she questions alot of things he did. She had trust issues and made people swear they were not going to lie to her about anything she asks.
    4. Shown in chapter 16 Ellen’s unhappiness shows her relationship of her being a slave because of mother choices of leaving her. she was forced as a slave and cried daily because of it. This can cause a dilemma because of the lids reaction can change there mind on what they should do with there kids. and that only the slave owner has control over them.

    1. Jena, you make a good point on answer number two, I believe that Aunt Nancy affected her family both in a positive and negative way. She affected her family in a positive way by being a strong, dependable figure; a person that someone can lean on for support, like where Linda said that she acted like a ‘second mother’ to her. Aunt Nancy affected her family in a negative way was when she dies, Linda and the rest of the family turns out pessimistic since they no longer have a reliable figure to lean on.

  10. 3. Mrs. Flint is jealous of slaves because her husband is having a affair. In chapter 6 it say he won’t stop pursuing Linda even when his wife is fully aware of the situation. Because Mrs. Flint has no control over what her husband does, she turns her anger on Linda, even though she realizes that Linda has no control over the situation. Many women back then were to afraid of confronting their husbands behavior. Because they thought it might jeopardize their marriage. So they choose to ignore it and take their anger out on their female slaves.

  11. 4. Ellen’s unhappiness shows the dilemma of how slave mothers tried to protect their children and keep their families together although they had no control over their children. In Chapter 16 we see Ellen’s struggles with her new life at the plantation. At Aunt Martha’s she was treated with care. Now she is neglected for hours. Shocked by the change from Martha’s home to the plantation, Ellen walks around the property and cries herself to sleep. Linda says “under the window where I was at work, crying that weary cry that make a mother’s heart bleed.” When she found Ellen sick and sleeping under the house, she sends her daughter to Aunt Martha’s on a cart of shingles the next day.

  12. 1. Linda Brent advocates for the issues of gender equality, motherhood and overall the abolition of slavery. Gender equality: Linda wrote “Slavery is terrible for men; but is far more terrible for women.” Motherhood: While looking at her kids for all she know that could be her last. She said “ Mr. Sands wanted to be kind to them, but they were not all to him, as they were to my womanly heart.” Abolition of slavery: The entire book is a witness to the cruelty of slavery and the way it degrades slaves and the slave owner.

  13. 2. Nancy is a example of a strong spiritual women. She loses eight babies due to the pain Mrs. Flint puts her through by making her sleep on the floor by her door. Yet she mourns her babies with “patient sorrow” saying she will be with them in heaven. Linda said the whole family relied on Nancy’s opinion and advice. When everyone talked bad on Linda she was there to encourage her. Nancy always stated “ I could die happy if I could only see you and my children free.”

  14. 1. Linda Brent advocates for many issues in the book. I definitely agree with Mikayla with her stance that sexual abuse between the slaves and slave owners would be a huge topic throughout the book and something that Linda felt passionate about. Linda is able to witness and go through this abuse first hand and she realizes that the slave owners see their slaves as nothing more than owned property and sexual objects that will produce more property for them. Yes, most slave owners viewed their slaves as a little above an animal or object, but for the most part, slave owners abused their slaves to the point where they felt worse than an animal. Linda is also an advocate for the abolishment of slavery and every single hardship that they endured. Sammi is correct, throughout the entire book Linda describes the horrible events slaves were put through. A great example being the advertisement selling horses and negro’s, Its clear that Mr. Flint sees her as property and worth just as much as a horse. Linda says, “I was born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away.” Early on, she was sheltered from it but as soon as she got older, the reality of what being a female slave was like set in.

  15. As described in the book, Nancy affects her family deeply. Nancy was a strong, encouraging, and persistent aunt to Linda and she was respected by many slaves. Nancy was also enslaved her entire life and worked to the bone, she had a difficult life but could see the positive out of situations that were hard. When Linda first moves to the Flints house, Nancy somewhat tries to stop Mr.Flint’s advances toward her. In chapter 6, Nancy protects Linda further and shows that she cares about her well-being. When Aunt Nancy suddenly dies in chapter 28, it effected Linda’s whole family. When she passed away, Linda was deeply devastated. Linda had lost a friend, aunt, protector, and second mother figure.

  16. According to chapter 6, Mrs.Flint is jealous of the slaves and Linda in particular because of how Mr.Flint wanted her. In chapters 5 and 6, Linda is only 15 years old when she talks about the jealous rage of Mrs.Flint. Instead of Mrs. Flint trying to protect Linda, she sees Linda as responsible for arousing her husband and she thinks that Linda wants Mr.Flint to lust after her. “She felt that her marriage vows were desecrated, her dignity insulted; but she had no compassion for the poor victim of her husband’s perfidy. She pitied herself as a martyr; but she was incapable of feeling for the condition of shame and misery in which her unfortunate, helpless slave was placed.” Linda says this in regards to how Mrs. Flint must have felt, although she never really felt any sorrow for Linda or what the other slaves endured. Unique is correct, many women then and even in today’s time, are afraid to confront their husbands on their disrespect and infidelity. Although Mrs. Flint seemed tough, when it came to her husband, she was easily manipulated and weak.

  17. In chapter 16, Ellen’s unhappiness shows the terrifying reality of what it was like to be a mother and have your children ripped from your arms. It shows how slave mothers could never truly protect their children from the horrors of slavery and no matter what they did, their kids would be sold, put to work, and if they were female, they would experience the same sexual abuse that their mothers endured. In chapter 16, the readers are really able to see the sickening pain that Ellen went through, she would cry herself to sleep and it was obvious that she was depressed. “Reader, my story ends with freedom; not in the usual way, with marriage….The dream of my life is not yet realized. I do not sit with my children in a home of my own.” Harriet says this as she reflects on the idea of freedom, happiness, and caring for your children freely in your own home.

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