Explain how hegemony functions in terms of the narrative Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.
In “Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl,” written by Harriet Jacobs, hegemony functions in a number of ways. Hegemony refers to the dominance of one group over others and the ways in which this dominance is maintained and reproduced. In the context of the narrative, hegemony refers to the dominance of white slave owners over African American slaves.
One way in which hegemony functions in the narrative is through the use of ideology. The ideology of white supremacy is prevalent throughout the story, and is used to justify the enslavement and exploitation of African Americans. This ideology is perpetuated through the laws and institutions of the time, and is reinforced through the social and cultural norms that are promoted by the dominant group.
Another way in which hegemony functions in the narrative is through the use of violence and coercion. White slave owners wield a great deal of power over their slaves, and they use this power to maintain their dominance through physical force and punishment. Slaves who resist or defy the will of their masters are often met with severe punishment, including physical abuse and even death.
Additionally, hegemony is maintained through the use of social and cultural norms. The dominant group dictates what is considered acceptable behavior and thought, and those who do not conform are often ostracized or punished. In the narrative, Jacobs describes how she is forced to adhere to certain societal expectations as a slave, and how she must hide her true feelings and desires in order to survive.
Hegemony functions in “Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl” through the use of ideology, violence and coercion, and the promotion of social and cultural norms that reinforce the dominance of white slave owners over African American slaves.