About Harriet jacobshow did Dr. flint,his wife and harriet's mother influence her life?

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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belarafon | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Flint is actually the pseudonym of Dr. James Norcom. When Harriet wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she changed the names to protect herself. Flint/Norcom's largest influence on Harriet's life was her decision to have two children with a white neighbor, Mr. Sands/Samuel Sawyer, in the hope this will cause his lust to diminish. It does not work, though, and she is forced into hiding to keep herself safe and ensure a better life for her children.


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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Dr. Flint's pursuit of Harriet/Linda forced her to live a life of bizarre captivity stowed away in a tiny space above her grandmother's shed. Having no rights of her own--either personal or legal--her unorthodox plan to thwart Dr. Flint failed and her life was all but terminated as she chose between the two things that seemed all that was left to her.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The early death of her mother clearly had a massive impact on the life of Harriet Jacobs, and forced her to become aware of her state of being a black girl in a world dominated by whites. It obviously meant that she had to become very strong and independent very quickly, as she lacked anybody to look after her or to protect her.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Harriet's mother died when she was only six years old.  Until her mother died, she lived a happy life and barely knew she was a slave.  Flint tried to force her to have sex with him when she turned 15, but she spurned his advances.  Still, it was a very difficult time for her.