kindred - Kindred Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by...

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Kindred Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and Kindred by Octavia Butler may be two different types of novels, but they have many similarities between them. Colonial America was full of slavery in the South, and these two books depict that in opposite ways. Incidents is categorized as a slave narrative by incorporating the themes of human freedom, agency, and identity. Even though Kindred depicts the same themes, it does so in a fantastical way categorizing it as a Neoslave narrative. The main difference between the two is that a person involved in slavery writes about their own story and the other is written through another person’s eyes usually using some sort of fantasy. Incidents and Kindred are prime examples of how these two different writing styles can connect in regards to the common themes of human freedom, agency, and identity. Although there are differences in how each story is told, both of these narratives display the theme of human freedom - each book is about a young woman’s encounter with slavery. Incidents follows the life of a young slave girl named Linda Brent and the hardships she faces to eventually become a free woman. Human freedom was a goal that seemed unattainable to most slaves; they were born into slavery and they would die as a slave. The only hope they had of freedom was to somehow escape to the North, where they could possibly live a free life. “Yet laws allowed him to be out in the free air, while I, guiltless of crime, was pent up here, as the only means of avoiding the cruelties the laws allowed him to inflict upon me” (Jacobs, 153). This quote ties directly into the want and need for human freedom. It shows that Linda recognizes that white people, Dr. Flint in correspondence with the quote, can be free and she wants that for herself and her children. She is willing to spend almost seven years in an attic hiding to get it. Kindred shows the same kind of desperation in its main character Dana. She is
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living in 1976, but somehow time travels to the antebellum South in the 1800’s. She is traveling to save her white ancestor from death to keep her line going only to find that he enslaves her
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kindred - Kindred Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by...

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