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Biography and History Harriet Jacobs The Life of a Slave

Biography and History Harriet Jacobs The Life of a Slave -...

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Biography and History -- Harriet Jacob's The Life of a Slave Girl B To be a good writer, you must posess a careful balance between detachment and association, a delicate waltz where you are not so wrapped up in the events of a story that it alienates the reader, and yet not so far separated from the subject matter that the readers cannot get into it. This is espectially the case in an autobiographical narrative. In this case, it is very difficult to detach yourself from the main subject matter, that is, yourself. Yet it must remain a story, and the story at its heart is a reconstruction of facts from the memory of the author. In the case of Harriet Jacobs, it was also important that she make sure the readers understood slavery from a woman's perspective. The hardships she had to endure not only entailed the work and the punishments, but also the sexual aspect of being a slave-girl. Her task is difficult, because in order for the reader to really understand her position as a woman and a slave, she must make the story extremely personal. If it is too personal, however, the reader looses sight of the bigger picture, and does not relate all these hardships to the condition of the general female slave. She accomplishes this in two ways, through her writing style, and the writing content.
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