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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Study Guide

Harriet Jacobs

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Chapter 15 : Continued Persecutions | Summary



Dr. Flint taunts Linda about how much money he will gain from selling her children. She vows that she would rather see them killed. "Dr. Flint loved money," she relates, "but he loved power more." When a slaveholder offers to buy Linda, Dr. Flint reminds Linda that she has refused her chance at freedom. She says she doesn't know the man who offered to buy her, and he grabs her arm. When her son, Benny, protects her, Dr. Flint throws him across the room, knocking him unconscious.

After the altercation Dr. Flint continues to visit frequently. Linda explains that he has an aversion to meeting slaves after he has sold them. When a former slave of his visits Aunt Martha, Dr. Flint strikes Linda. Martha witnesses the altercation and makes him leave. After Martha and Dr. Flint argue, Linda sees anger and weariness in her grandmother's eyes.

Dr. Flint offers Linda her freedom again—if she agrees to live as his concubine and ignore Mr. Sands. She refuses, and he gives her a week to reconsider. Linda discovers Dr. Flint's son, who has a cotton plantation, is marrying. Knowing she'll be sent to help Mr. Flint, she chooses to go with her children to the plantation.


Even though Linda lives with her grandmother, Dr. Flint's violence toward her increases. Aunt Martha is a free woman and respected in the town, and she is a mother to Linda. Dr. Flint's ability to torture Linda and her family exposes the hopelessness of her situation, showing the threat that lurks for Linda and her children. She worries that her own troubles have decreased her grandmother's love for her, despite Martha's never giving Linda a reason to believe this. These troubles further motivate Linda to come up with a plan for escape.

With the emotional wear in the house, Linda Brent demonstrates how the "demon" system of slavery affects slaves and freed slaves, even in their private lives.

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