In the stories expressed by Harriet Jacobs, through the mindset of Linda Brent, some harsh realities were revealed about slavery. I've always known slavery existed and that it was a very immoral act. But never before have I been introduced to actual events that occurred. Thought the book Linda expresses how she wasn't the worst off. Not to say her life wasn't difficult, but she acknowledged that she knows she was not treated as bad as others. .
Linda's life was without knowing she was a slave until she was bout six years old. Her father was skilled craftsmen and so his was allowed to work for his profit as long as he gave half to his master. Linda's mother died when Linda was young, so her maternal grandmother took car of her and her brother William. Her grandmother had been freed by an elderly white woman. Aunt Martha, as was known, was very loved by many including whites and blacks especially by Linda. As soon as she realized her fate in slavery her grandmother became her only female figure of who she really loved and trusted. .
As slavery became more and more a part of Linda's life began to soon change as she learned that she was owned by a white master and his mistress and that she was to do exactly what they asked of her without exception or question. Black slaves were not seen as humans but merely as property who served as servants. They could not accumulate property or belongings or authority because they too were property often compared to "chattel". No man or woman had any value except for the price tag placed on them when they entered the bidding block. However, the destiny was different for a man than for a woman in slavery. For a black man, slavery meant long hours everyday, having a family .
But not having any authority amongst it, dealing with the constant reminder that he as a slave could not protect his wife or children form any harm done by the master, and that if he ever disobeyed he would be beat or killed and there would nothing that could be done in his defense.