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. 15 July 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 July 15, 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 July 15, 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 July 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Incidents-in-the-Life-of-a-Slave-Girl/.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl | Chapter 30 : Northward Bound | Summary

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Summary

Guided by Peter and Phillip, Linda reaches the wharf. Before she steps into the rowboat, Benny tugs at her and whispers that he has peeped in Dr. Flint's window and the doctor sits at home unsuspecting. He promises to follow her North. Following goodbyes, the captain escorts her to Fanny's cabin, where the two friends embrace and talk. The vessel departs.

The fugitives want to cower below decks, afraid of being discovered, but the captain kindly invites them to visit the deck for air. After 10 days the ship reaches Philadelphia at night. The captain tells the women to wait overnight and leave in broad daylight to escape suspicion. While Linda worries that he can't be trusted, the captain swears to take care of the women, and Linda admits that he was, in the end, respectful. Safe from the South at last Linda and Fanny cry together the next morning.

Analysis

Linda is slow to trust the captain. A Southerner, he is embarrassed by his deceased brother's role in slavery as a trader. He calls the business "pitiable and degrading." When the captain senses Linda's distrust, he apologizes and is visibly hurt.

Only after arriving in Philadelphia can Linda credit the man's trustworthiness. She explains her complicated feelings regarding him: "Ah, if he had ever been a slave he would have known how difficult it was to trust a white man." Her distrust exposes the way slavery traumatizes both individuals and groups.

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