Explain how Linda's time in the garret comes to represent the double nature of Black families under slavery in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Linda's time in the garret represents family life under slavery because Linda, as a fugitive, has to hide, even from her own children. The garret is both haven and prison; it shows how Linda's status as "property" can prevent her from being a mother, even while she longs desperately to be with them.

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Linda's experience in her grandparent's garret is emblematic of her slave status in many ways. In particular, her identity as a mother is eclipsed by her identity as fugitive; because she is hunted by her owner, she turns to her family for protection, which can only take the form of concealment. She is put into the attic because that is the only nook in her grandparent's tiny house that is not open to inspection or known to the Flints. In a sense, although she is in the same house, Linda is as isolated and absent as she was when she was hiding in the swamp.

Perhaps the best example of her status lies in her closeness to her children, whom she can hear and occasionally see through a chink in the wall but who are unaware of her proximity. Her status as property prevents her from going to them; as a slave, her children are not "hers" to raise. In the same sense, her grandparents must remain submissive to the Flints, even though the Flints are the reason Linda must stay in hiding. In effect, slavery requires all of them to live a double life, one in which they are obedient to their masters while at the same time secretly loving each other.

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