Week 9 Journal Prompt – Alicia

Consider the portion of Scene 2 in the “Harriet Jacobs” play by Lydia Diamond—from the top of page 12 through Harriet’s paragraph on page 14 ending with “…I live under the feet of the Whites who wish us to believe that we are animals”—in which Harriet’s picturesque portrayal of the cotton field is interspersed and juxtaposed with Harold’s graphic story of a beating and a rape. How do these two drastically different narratives enhance or detract from one another? Does Diamond’s choice to write the scene this way add anything to our understanding of Jacob’s slavery experience (primarily domestic work) and/or the differing slavery experiences (plantation work, field work, outdoors)? Additionally, how does the historically inaccurate decision to make the crop cotton in the play elucidate or complicate the presentation and/or representation of Jacob’s life? Answer one or multiple of these questions through a textual analysis of this portion of the chapter.

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