Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

by

Harriet Jacobs

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Linda’s aunt and Grandmother’s daughter. Strong and perseverant like her sister, Aunt Nancy’s opinion is respected by the entire family. Yet, unlike her sister, she spends her entire life enslaved by the Flints, who don’t even give her a day off for her wedding and force her to work so hard that each time she becomes pregnant she miscarries the child. When Linda first moves to the Flints’ house, she sleeps next to Aunt Nancy, and the older woman is able to protect her somewhat from Dr. Flint’s advances. After Linda’s escape, she relays information from the Flint household to Grandmother. At her deathbed, the Flints patronizingly praise her as a loyal servant, while Linda privately observes that she’s a quiet but deeply subversive woman.
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Aunt Nancy Character Timeline in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Nancy appears in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Six: The Jealous Mistress
Sexual Virtue and Sexual Abuse Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...and force Linda to sleep there as well (prior to this Linda had slept near Aunt Nancy , gaining some protection by the woman’s presence). When Mrs. Flint finds out about this,... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen: Months of Peril
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...her children soon, but he seems to want revenge more than money. He throws William, Aunt Nancy , Benny, and Ellen into the city jail and tells Grandmother that she will never... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen: The Children Sold
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
...trader pretends to take them out of the state. William is put in chains and Aunt Nancy and Grandmother say goodbye to the children as if they’ll never see them again; seeing... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three: Still in Prison
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...ill herself and Linda is unable to take care of her. Mrs. Flint won’t let Aunt Nancy leave her house to take care of Grandmother, but to avoid seeming lacking in “Christian... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Five: Competition in Cunning
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...has done, thinking it will backfire on them in some way. Linda also confides in Aunt Nancy so that she can report the Flints’ reactions; her aunt hopes the trick will work,... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Aunt Nancy
Women Theme Icon
Linda breaks away from her own narrative to relate the story of Aunt Nancy ’s life. At the age of twenty, she got married to another slave, but her... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Mrs. Flint and Aunt Nancy become pregnant at roughly the same time, but Aunt Nancy still has to sleep on... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
Aunt Nancy is in charge of the Flint house. Although she behaves meekly, she always encourages Linda... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Six years after Linda starts living in the shed, Aunt Nancy becomes deathly ill and Grandmother returns to the Flint house to nurse her last daughter.... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Linda is devastated to hear of Aunt Nancy ’s death, although Uncle Phillip assures her she died happy. Linda reflects bitterly that Mrs.... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
The family buries Aunt Nancy in a plain but dignified funeral, which even the Flints attend. Linda says that the... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Four: The Old Enemy Again
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
...“reinstated in our affections” and greeted with “tears of joy.” Moreover, he apprises her of Aunt Nancy ’s death (not realizing that Linda was there when it happened), saying that she showed... (full context)