Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harriet Jacobs

Blog: Harriet Jacobs

To begin: I want to remember to talk about two things: Flowers and women

I think that this might be a long blog for me just a little warning. Anyway- To start my thought process off I want to say that this text was terrible. Not in the way you might be thinking, but it broke my heart into little tiny pieces. I hate reading about this time period only because it shows Americans as terrible people. How could someone treat someone so poorly? I really just find it hard to fathom, but then even today there is still racism alive and booming and it literally kills me on the inside. This text really takes an in-depth look at what WOMEN as a group (not mentioning color yet) went through and how far we have come. If we take a step back and look at this text from a different standpoint, we have made great steps in how women are perceived in the world, but at the same time some of these qualities that she and the “mistresses” possess are still going on today. For example, the mistress marries her “husband” and thinks that life is going to be all “flowery” as Jacobs said, but then finds out that life is nothing but dealing with their husbands’ cheating and looking away as they do it and get mad at the slaves (craziness).  Today we have that same problem where women turn a cheek as their “successful” husbands betray their marriage vowels or where women want to blame other women for their men’s mishaps.  Also, men like Dr. Flint still mentally and physically abuse women today and the women stay because they are brainwashed or whatever the reasons may be. This text does shed some light on the matter that these “practices” (for lack of a better word) are still being used today.

Secondly, this piece of work really shows how heartless mankind can be, but how strong we can be as well. I think that my opinion has changed after reading this text that mankind is innately mean. I say this because even with rules the people who were in charge used their power to take advantage and savagely ruin other peoples lives.  This text gives the readers an insight as to what life was like on all levels. I think I would love to have an account of Dr. Flint for he was a very important character in this text. Though throughout the reading I could feel the sorrow and the guilt that possessed Jacobs I never really felt hatred, except for when she actually said it. I think that if she were to "run into him" nowadays she might just say a prayer and keep it moving. I find her strength in this text very moving. I think that her courage for writing this was enough to inspire other women to make a stand, no matter the reason.

Things I wanted to point out: Jacobs brings up an element in her work which is her association with "flower." When she uses this word she is almost always referencing a white or "fair" women and her marriage or a happy moment in life. I think that this is significant because I feel it shed light on her feelings of happiness and how she see's what she wants in her happiness or in her marriage. I am not sure if that made sense.


  1. Makes sense to me! Good points about this piece showing human strength. Would you use any of this in a high school classroom?

  2. I would love to use this text in a classroom along with the discussions. I think that an 11th or 12th grade classroom would be able to understand it and possibly enjoy it and benefit from it. I think that the younger mind frames in an high school setting would really bring to light things that us "college folk" don't think about anymore.