What is slavery? In modern day, we define slavery as the total control of one person by another for the purpose of economic management. On the other hand, if we were to talk about slavery of the past, its definition becomes horribly different. We would define slavery as work done without any compensation under the threat of violence; slaves were the object that can be bought, sold, and controlled by their masters who maintain physical control over the slaves. In that world, it was very rare that a slave was able to read and write well. .
Nevertheless, the slave narrative by Harriet Jacobs in the reading Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl gave us an insight into what it truly was to be a woman and a slave in those times. It stands out in its emphasis on the sexual exploitation of enslaved African American women. Jacobs emphasizes how enslaved women are judged by different standards than free white women. African American women are forced into "premature knowledge" because of the immoral habits of male slave owners and are then subject to punishment by their jealous wives. This paper will explore Harriet Jacobs's portrayal of enslaved women and the different standards that they are judged by in comparison to free white women, and her personal story served as one example of the slave woman who was just an object to immoral habits of her white master. .
Rebellious slaves caused a lot of problems amongst their white owners during the period of slavery. Slave women were often regarded as obedient, gentle creatures, but there were many women who were feared and who caused much trouble and disruption to plantation owners. Many Africans brought as slaves to the New World refused to accept this cruel reality such as sexual abused in the condition of living submissively and in obedience to their male masters. As for Harriet Jacobs, her rebellion was her story to alert Northern white women to the dangers that faced enslaved African American women in the South.