Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

by

Harriet Jacobs

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Mrs. Hobbs Character Analysis

Mr. Sands’s cousin. He sends Ellen to her in order to get her out of the South. Although Mr. Sands assures Linda that he has legally freed Ellen, Mrs. Hobbs claims that he has “given” the girl to her; Linda is afraid to challenge her, as she knows about her status as a fugitive. Mrs. Hobbs doesn’t send Ellen to school, and she provides her with inadequate food and clothing. Her unscrupulous behavior is evidence that exploitation of black people isn’t limited to states in which slavery is legal, but exists across the nation and will go largely unpunished until slavery is abolished.
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Mrs. Hobbs Character Timeline in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Hobbs appears in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Twenty-Seven: New Destination for the Children
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
After six months a letter arrives from Mr. Sands’s cousin, Mrs. Hobbs . She says that she will send Ellen to school, but adds that her cousin... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Two: The Meeting of Mother and Daughter
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
Ellen has to run an errand for Mrs. Hobbs , but she tells her mother to come to the house the next day. In... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
Mrs. Hobbs cordially invites Linda to the house, and she’s able to speak further with her daughter.... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
As Linda prepares to leave, Mrs. Hobbs tells her “coolly” that Mr. Sands has given Ellen to her daughter, as “a nice... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Three: A Home Found
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...suggests that Ellen come to live at her house, but Linda is afraid to offend Mrs. Hobbs , who could easily apprise Dr. Flint of her whereabouts. Still, she’s very unhappy with... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Hairbreadth Escape
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Returning to New York, Linda visits Ellen. She knows that Mrs. Hobbs ’s Southern brother, Mr. Thorne, is visiting so she stays in the kitchen. However, he... (full context)
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...of Linda’s location. When Ellen and the Hobbs children put the pieces together and showed Mrs. Hobbs , she confronted her brother, but he’s already mailed a copy, and soon leaves New... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Effects of Slavery Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...stays with a friend from Mrs. Bruce until William arrives to take her to Boston. Mrs. Hobbs , who feels guilty about her brother’s actions, lets Ellen return to her mother—albeit without... (full context)
Motherhood and Family Theme Icon
...happier and safer than ever before—even better, she’s finally reunited with both her children. Telling Mrs. Hobbs that Ellen must stay with her and go to school, she sets up house with... (full context)