Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The Life of a Slave Girl is about a female slave as she goes through life, and how she views different situations and people. Along with talking about her own experiences, she talks about those of her family and friends (and her masters). She starts off talking about her fairly decent childhood. For about the first 6 years of her life, she was treated like a normal child. The woman who owned her was very kind, and had known her family for years. By the time she had started working, she didn't even know she was a slave. She was happy to do what the lady asked of her. Her mother became sick, and asked the lady to not let her be sold and to take care of her. When her mother died, the lady did as she asked.
This song relates to The Life of a Slave Girl because it shows love, dedication, and strength. In the lines," when my time comes around, lay me gently in the cold dark earth, no grave can hold my body down, ill crawl home to her." This represents the love the slave girl had for her family, and the lines, " heaven and hell were just words to me." shows how little she feared death, and where she would go later in life. As a child, and in her adult life, many of her family members died, and many of hers were separated. But even then, she showed devotion and respect towards them.
After the death of her mother she was treated kindly, she was allowed visits by family, and was not pushed to hard by her kind owner. But, after some time, even her kind owner got sick. And instead of granting the slave girl freedom, so she could be with her grandmother and father, she was promised to the masters 5 year old niece, whose parents were cruel and spiteful. When she first got to their house she befriended the young girl, she was too young herself to be put to any difficult task, and even then, she was treated rudely by her new owner. As she got older it became more apparent that life there was not going to get any better. Around the time she became 15, her male owner started to become "attracted" to her. No matter what he did, she would not let him get to her. She knew that he would not hit her or punish her, as that would break the false trust he thought she had with him.
Time passed and her owners wife started to notice how the owner was acting. One night, she called the slave girl into the living room. She told the slave girl that she must answer with full honesty, and tell her what her husband had been doing. The slave girl told her the complete truth. That her owner had been pursuing her, but she had payed no mind to his attempts, and for the most part ignored them. This worried the owners wife, and the wife promised to protect her. But the promise of and owners wife could only be kept for so long before she returned to her old ways. When the owner found out about the agreement, he found other ways to try to contact her, like through notes (she had learned how to read), but even then she said she couldn't read. This resulted in the owner reading her the disturbing notes out-loud. The owners wife moved the slave girl into the house, so that she could keep an eye on her. At night the owners wife would sit next to her cot, and sometimes, the slave girl would awaken and find the owners wife staring at the door, as to check that the owner did not come in. After a while the owners wife started to give up. Her attempts to get her husband to confess to pursuing the young slave girl had gone without any result.
The slave girl had an African American friend as a child who was born free. And as they got older they became closer. They had fallen in love. The man she had known proposed to her, and she said she would have to ask permission. She went to her owner and asked. He became angry and slapped her, yelling about how much he had done for her, saying he would forgive her if she never spoke to the man again, and never was near him again. But she had to warn him, she had to tell him to leave to save his life. So one day she met him at a street corner and told him to leave. Her owner saw. He once again became angered, yelling and throwing things. She knew it would just get worse, so she tried hard not to anger him from then on.
Many years later she devised a plan to escape her owner and head to the north (this was during the civil war). She got to the north and changed her name, she then wrote down her story, changing the names of everyone in her life so none of them could be punished upon the publish of the book.
One message I learned from this biography was that you should never give up hope. As a child her future seemed to hold a light that most other could not see. But after the death of so many dear to her and being owned by such a cruel man, she continued to grasp onto hope, and see something in her future that no one else could see in her. She found a chance to escape from her life and start new, she told the world her story and grew old.
Throughout her life she had faced many hardships, such as death of family, punishment, famish, separation of her from her family. But she survived it all, and became an inspiration for people everywhere.