Mr. Northup 's Time As A Slave Essay

1045 Words Nov 9th, 2014 5 Pages
One of the darkest times in American history is the years that slavery remained legal. The idea one person owning another, like they were property, seems hard to believe in the modern-day, but in the antebellum South it was just a fact of life. Solomon Northup, the main character of 12 Years a Slave, was a free, educated, black man who lived in New York, with his wife and young son and daughter. Mr. Northup was kidnapped, while in Washington D.C., and sold into slavery at a New Orléans ' slave market. Mr. Northup’s time as a slave was full of trials, testing his will to live and his faith in human kind. Throughout Mr. Northup’s time as a slave, he endured many mental, emotional, and psychological abuses from his masters. The most central traumas the enslaved dealt with were inferiority, dehumanization, and sexual advances. One way the Southern slave owners justified slavery was that white men were people of intelligence, and black people were people of labor. The white men needed some way to justify the owning of slaves, to settle their minds. For example, Edwin Ebbs, Mr. Northup’s second master, used the Bible as justification for owning slaves. There are many scenes in the movie where Mr. Ebbs is reading from the Bible, quoting many lines that refer to slaves in some way. The psychological impact of always being treated as an inferior is very traumatic. After a while, the slaves began to doubt their self-worth because the owners treated them horribly but…

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