Self-Making Without Inheritance: Harriet Jacobs’s Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl

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Nil Kamal Chakma


The slaves, especially women, are more vulnerable than the men to the oppressive system of slavery. It does not only seize the idea of self from a slave (which constitutes a human being, and slavery seeks support from and utilizes the existing laws by which all the legal rights of the slaves are hijacked) but also it puts them (women) into a constant struggle to negotiate, not just for the construction of their ‘selves’ but for their motherhoods and the right of being called wives of their husbands and so forth. The masters, the white, adopt numerous evil strategies which sabotage the slaves forming strong bondage between husband and wife; and parents and children. The masters and slaveholders separate the slaves to run slavery smoothly; for if they are kept together, there will grow a strong relationship among the slaves as they will share feelings, emotions, and sentiments, which may result in gathering a possible resistance against the entire slavery. In such a heavy check on the formation of family bondage, Jackobs’s spoke persona, Brent adopts several strategies, which not only help but also construct her identity and liberate herself as well as her children from the claws of slavery. Thus, this paper examines how the emergence of motherhood becomes the prime factor for negotiating and constructing self-identity, not for herself– Brent but also for her children, out of nothing– inheritance. Moreover, it has created awareness among the communities that despise slavery against slavery, afterward uprooting slavery forever.


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How to Cite
Nil Kamal Chakma. “Self-Making Without Inheritance: Harriet Jacobs’s Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 7, no. 5, Oct. 2022, pp. 37-47, doi:10.53032/tcl.2022.7.5.04.
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