Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Study Guide

Harriet Jacobs

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Course Hero. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 14 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Incidents-in-the-Life-of-a-Slave-Girl/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, November 28). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Incidents-in-the-Life-of-a-Slave-Girl/

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Course Hero. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Study Guide." November 28, 2016. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Incidents-in-the-Life-of-a-Slave-Girl/.

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Course Hero, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Study Guide," November 28, 2016, accessed November 14, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Incidents-in-the-Life-of-a-Slave-Girl/.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Chapter 29 : Preparations for Escape | Summary

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Summary

Nearly seven years have passed, and Linda is desperate for freedom. The shingles over her roof are badly in need of repair, but Phillip is afraid that repairing them would draw attention to her hiding place. As a result she is soaked whenever it rains. Mr. Sands grants Benny permission to go North with Phillip.

Linda's friend Peter finds passage for Linda on a ship. She is overjoyed by the news, especially since she longs to free her grandmother from the burden of hiding her. Then the murder of a fugitive slave greatly worries Martha, so Linda promises to stay. While Linda is downstairs in the storeroom the "mischievous housemaid" Jenny lets herself in, seeking crackers for her mistress. Linda hides behind a barrel. Martha, worried, finally agrees that Linda should take the opportunity to leave. Phillip contacts Peter, who has given Linda's spot on the ship to her friend Fanny. Peter convinces the captain to take another fugitive, paying "handsomely." Linda spends her last day with Benny, who reveals that he has known she was hiding in the house. Linda, Benny, and Martha pray together before Linda joins Peter "faint in body, but strong of purpose."

Analysis

When Linda speaks to Benny, age 12, he astonishes her by how much he knows and observes. Because he has heard her cough, he has known she was hiding in the house. He tells her he had urged Ellen into Linda's view when they played outside to make her happy. Linda remembers witnessing his directing Ellen and she reflects that slaves "being surrounded by mysteries, deceptions, and dangers, clearly learn to be suspicious and watchful, and prematurely cautious and cunning."

Perseverance for the sake of her children always motivates Linda, even when she is in her lowest spirits. Thinking of what Benny has suffered, keeping his knowledge all to himself, she is amazed. When she leaves the garret where she spent almost seven years, she notes her changed, invigorated self, and she does not turn around.

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