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Incidents in the Life > Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Week 2, Chapters 10-18

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message 1: by ☯Emily , The First (new)

☯Emily  Ginder | 1209 comments Mod
Comments for the first half of book can be posted here.


message 2: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments I'm moving this comment here, where I believe it is a better fit.

message: by Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder 22 hours, 8 min ago
I just finished this section today, so I am a little late in jumping in.

I feel that in the face of the constant threat of the "gentleman" Dr. Flint, Linda in finally deciding on intimacy with someone else and the resulting pregnancy, was an act of rebellion and exercising control over her body, which, by law, she doesn't own bec it's property of her owner.

I think if Linda had been on a "plantation" the master, sons, overseer would have simply taken her instead of sending her notes, filling her ear with vile talk and hatching elaborate schemes to have their way.


message 3: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Alexa wrote: "I'm moving this comment here, where I believe it is a better fit.

message: by Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder: Linda in finally deciding on intimacy with someone else and the resulting pregnancy, was an act of rebellion and exercising control over her body, which, by law, she doesn't own bec it's property of her owner. ..."

I completely agree. This act is a definite bid for freedom--literally as well as spiritually. She hoped that Dr. Flint would be angry and sell her, Mr. Sands would buy her, and
"..I thought my freedom could be easily obtained from him."
In his fury, Dr. Flint refuses to sell her.

Interesting that Dr. Flint is so obsessed by Linda. Her continual thwarting of his advances must have made him so determined. Rather than giving up at this point, or punishing her, he takes her brother as an assistant and uses him as a go-between, forcing him to carry messages, but also educating him. It seems Dr. Flint will try any means so convince Linda to be his mistress--threats and persuasions.


message 4: by A.D. (last edited Sep 08, 2015 11:43AM) (new)

A.D. Koboah (adkoboah) | 26 comments I've only read part of this section but he was definitely obsessed. And I liked the fact that she used the thing that is usually used against female slaves (pregnancy and that slavery is carried on down the female line) as an act of rebellion.


message 5: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments I thought this was a fantastic line (from Chapter 10):

"There may be sophistry is all this; but the condition of a slave confuses all principles of morality, and, in fact, renders the practice of them impossible."

There's something really revolutionary there!


message 6: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Mr. Sands is almost a ghostly figure--always supportive, always trying to buy his children to give them their freedom. He obviously continues to be Linda's lover. I think she made his description deliberately vague to prevent him being identified.


message 7: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments I'm sure those of you from the U.S. had studied Nat Turner's insurrection, but I had no memory of it, and Linda assumes her readers know about it. I had a image of an old book on our bookshelf about Nat Turner. I tracked it down: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron. I had never read it, but saw it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1967. Wondering how it would have been received by African Americans, I discovered there was and still is much controversy around the way the characters are depicted. I did learn some basic facts of the Rebellion--ironic that he and his followers marched towards Jerusalem.

This is a vivid and terrifying event as the poor whites are aimed at the black people, slave and free alike.
"What a spectacle was that for a civilized country! A rabble, staggering under intoxication, assuming to be the administrators of justice."
An article I found said that 200 black people, most of whom had nothing to do with the rebellion, were murdered by white mobs. This chapter is very effectively written. And yes, the moral and political themes are always there.


message 8: by A.D. (new)

A.D. Koboah (adkoboah) | 26 comments I agree Mr Sands is portrayed a certain way by Jacobs, but I think her grandmother knew that although he could be relied on to do some of what he said, he couldn't really be relied on properly. I also think although he bought their children,he didn't set them free. I also found the chapter regarding the aftermath of the Nat Turner insurrection shocking. I'm from the UK and read "Incidents in the life of a slave girl" at university and my knowledge of slavery isn't as good as a lot of people and that chapter really shocked me.


message 9: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments I participated with this group in reading The Life of Charlotte Brontë. This may sound weird, but I was struck by parallels between Charlotte Bronte and Harriet Jacobs. Geniuses both but grew up and lived in deprivation and sorrow.


message 10: by Ginny (new)

Ginny (burmisgal) | 190 comments Chapter 13--The Church and Slavery

"After the alarm caused by Nat Turner's insurrection had subsided, the slaveholders came to the conclusion that it would be well to give the slaves enough of religious instruction to keep them from murdering their masters." Great irony here. Her comparison between the two preachers is masterful, but she ends pointing out the hypocrisy inherent in the whole "missionary" process. "No wonder the slaves sing,--
Ole Satan's church is here below;
Up to God's free church I hope to go."


message 11: by Maelanie (new)

Maelanie (goodreadscommellieb) Alexa wrote: "I thought this was a fantastic line (from Chapter 10):

"There may be sophistry is all this; but the condition of a slave confuses all principles of morality, and, in fact, renders the practice of ..."


Yes, quite poetic ...


message 12: by Maelanie (new)

Maelanie (goodreadscommellieb) Ginny wrote: "I'm sure those of you from the U.S. had studied Nat Turner's insurrection, but I had no memory of it, and Linda assumes her readers know about it. I had a image of an old book on our bookshelf abo..."

I am currently reading this text about of Nat Turner, and it is a must read for a people especially Black people.


message 13: by Maelanie (new)

Maelanie (goodreadscommellieb) Ginny wrote: "Chapter 13--The Church and Slavery

"After the alarm caused by Nat Turner's insurrection had subsided, the slaveholders came to the conclusion that it would be well to give the slaves enough of rel..."


Ironic, not sure ... Masters of deception and quite smart slaveowners/white supremacists/tyrants are

To quote Napoleon, "Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich."


message 14: by Maelanie (new)

Maelanie (goodreadscommellieb) Ginny wrote: "Chapter 13--The Church and Slavery

"After the alarm caused by Nat Turner's insurrection had subsided, the slaveholders came to the conclusion that it would be well to give the slaves enough of rel..."


As hymns were being song in the church above ground, slaves were shrieking in agony below the church ... I fear there is absolutely nothing religious about religion (any religion; be it Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Judaism, or Hindu). Religions have been around for 10,000 years and mankind has not improved one iota!!


message 15: by ☯Emily , The First (new)

☯Emily  Ginder | 1209 comments Mod
Did anyone else think that Mr. Sands could have done more to help Linda and his own children?


message 16: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments I'm thinking Mr. Sands was a white slave-owner, and only a slightly more decent variety of the beast. Realistically, there was a huge amount more he could have done! In his hypocritical mind he probably thought he had done way too much.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 315 comments I thought Mr. Sands could have done more.

He seemed to distance himself.

He could keep his standing in the community by fathering children with a slave, but perhaps not so much by legally manumitting his flesh and blood, which costs money and helping their mother to escape to freedom.

I


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