Read the passage below from Chapter Six of Incidents the Life of a Slave Girl. Think critically about it and discuss Jacobs’s authorial intention. What does she reveal about the peculiar institution of slavery, about women, and about slave owners? You are allowed to reference other occurrences in the text to support your assertions.
“I would ten thousand times rather that my children should be the half-starved paupers of Ireland than to be the most pampered among the slaves of America. I would rather drudge out my life on a cotton plantation, till the grave opened to give me rest, than to live with an unprincipled master and a jealous mistress. The felon’s home in a penitentiary is preferable. He may repent, and turn from the error of his ways, and so find peace; but it is not so with a favorite slave. She is not allowed to have any pride of character. It is deemed a crime in her to wish to be virtuous.”
Harriet Jacobs and The Cult of True Womanhood